CASPER, Wyo. — The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT Act) passed in the United States Senate on Tuesday, Nov. 5.
The Senate passed the bill without making any amendments. The House of Representatives passed the bill in October.
If President Donald Trump signs the bill into law, the PACT Act will make it a federal felony to crush, burn, drown, suffocate, impale or otherwise cause serious injury to animals including mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
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“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.
“Animal crush videos” would also be 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, should it become law, could 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.