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Bipartisan Bill Targets Most Heinous Forms of Animal Abuse

July 22, 2015
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Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today introduced the bipartisan Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act. The PACT Act seeks to outlaw a heinous form of animal abuse known as "crushing," where deranged individuals maim and torture animals. If enacted, this would be the first ever federal law to grant all animals federal protections against cruelty and abuse.

Despite taking steps in 2010 to ban the sale of videos depicting animal crushing, Congress failed to make the underlying act of crushing a federal crime. This means that - even when there is overwhelming evidence that torture is taking place - federal law enforcement is unable to protect animals from abuse or even arrest known abusers.

Individuals found guilty of torturing animals would face felony charges, fines, and up to seven years in prison.

"There is absolutely no place for the crushing of animals in our society," said Sen. Toomey. "It is blatantly inhumane and astonishingly cruel. I can't believe this isn't already against the law, and I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to end this abhorrent practice."

"Crushing an animal-- maiming and torturing it to death-- is heinously inhumane and must be illegal," said Sen. Blumenthal. "Videos are currently prohibited‎, but doing it is unpunishable under federal law. In 2010, Congress passed legislation criminalizing the creation and distribution of videos showing animals being crushed, drowned, burned and suffocated, but it unfortunately allowed the people who actually inflict barbaric harm on animals to walk free. This bipartisan bill - the first to outlaw animal cruelty at the federal level - states emphatically that these heinous acts are inhumane, illegal and intolerable in a civilized society. It is appalling that without this legislation, these outrageous acts go unpunished."

"Malicious cruelty is shameful abhorrent conduct, and perpetrators should never get a free pass from the federal government. We already have federal laws against dogfighting and cockfighting, and a wide range of other animal crimes with an interstate component. It's time to close the gap in our federal laws on matters of extreme cruelty," said Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.

The bill is endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States and the National Sheriffs Association.

You can read the entire bill here.