House passes bill to make animal cruelty a federal felony


WASHINGTON — House lawmakers have passed a bill that makes animal cruelty a federal felony.

The so-called PACT Act specifically bans crushing, burning, drowning, and impaling animals, among other things. It would also allow officials to go after suspected animal abusers who cross state lines.

According to its cosponsor, Republican Congressman Vern Buchanan of Florida, it would also close a big loophole. Buchanan’s office says the bill would specifically ban animal cruelty recorded on video. Previous laws have delegalized creating and selling those videos, but not the acts of cruelty in them.

Another co-sponsor of the bill, Democrat Ted Deutch of Florida, said the legislation sends a clear message that our society does not accept animal cruelty.

Violations could lead to prison for up to seven years.

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