Deutch Reintroduces Bill to Criminalize Animal Abuse
Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX) reintroduced the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, landmark legislation to criminalize certain acts of animal cruelty. This bill is endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States.
In 2010, Congress passed the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which made the creation and distribution of animal crushing videos illegal. The PACT Act targets the underlying animal cruelty by prohibiting certain cases of animal abuse. A fact sheet for the PACT Act can be found here.
“These are unconscionable acts that we must not tolerate in our society,” said Congressman Deutch. “Americans from across the political spectrum agree that we should do more to protect animals from abuse. I’m proud to have helped pass into law a ban on animal crushing videos in 2010; now it’s time for Congress to take the next step and criminalize reprehensible abuse of animals.”
“It’s long past time that Congress empowers the FBI and U.S. Attorneys to deal with particularly malicious and deviant acts of cruelty on federal property or that cross state lines – especially given the well-documented link between animal abuse and other forms of violent behavior,” said Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. "This common sense legislation passed the Senate last year with enormous bipartisan support, and now we urge the House to take up this measure swiftly to fortify the legal framework against cruelty in the United States.”
Original cosponsors of the PACT Act in the 115th Congress include Reps. Steve Chabot (R-OH), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Trent Franks (R-AZ), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Ted Lieu (D-CA), Tom Marino (R-PA), Jerry Nadler (D-NY), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), and Eric Swalwell (D-CA).
Last Congress, the PACT Act (H.R. 2293, 114th Congress) garnered support from 252 bipartisan Members of Congress and hundreds of local and national law enforcement agencies and animal welfare organizations.