CASPER, Wyo. — The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT Act) makes it a federal felony to crush, burn, drown, suffocate, impale or otherwise cause serious injury to animals including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
President Donald Trump signed the bill into law on Monday, Nov. 25. The United States Senate passed the measure on Nov. 5 and the House of Representatives passed it in October.
“It shall be unlawful for any person to purposely engage in animal crushing in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States,” the bill reads.
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“Animal crush videos” have also been made a felony. Those are photographs, motion-picture films, video or digital recordings or electronic images that depict any of the above-named violent acts toward animals.
“It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly create an animal crush video, if…the person intends or has reason to know that the animal crush video will be distributed in, or using a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce or the animal crush video is distributed in, or using a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce,” the bill states.
“It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, market, advertise, exchange, or distribute an animal crush video in, or using a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce.”
Violations of the provisions in the bill may lead to fines and/or up to seven years of imprisonment. Federal felonies are those crimes which can lead to a prison sentence greater than one year.
Exceptions are made for slaughtering animals for food and things like hunting, fishing and trapping.