This Senate Bill Makes Animal Cruelty A Felony

It’s hard to fathom why anyone would want to be cruel to animals. The wild animals just want to mind their own business and pets just want to be loved by their humans. But cases of animal abuse and deaths pop up on the news nearly every single day. There are stories of hundreds of malnourished animals being pulled from homes and viral videos of people torturing animals for likes and retweets. Now, people who choose to hurt animals may face felony charges. As reported by ABC News, the United States Senate unanimously passed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act to make certain types of cruel acts against animals a federal felony.

This bill expands on the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act that made “animal crushing,” which social media videos over the past few years have depicted, illegal. The fact that this even exists is horrific but that’s the sad world we live in. The PACT Act will encompass other forms of animal abuse like sexual exploitation, drowning, suffocating, and impaling and could lead to years in prison for a convicted person. If the president signs the PACT Act, it will become federal law. The bill just made it to the White House, so it will likely be a while before the general public gets word on when (or if) the PACT Act gets the final stamp of approval. Democratic Representative Ted Deutch (Florida) spoke further about the message that the PACT Act will send to those who engage in such deplorable behavior.

“This bill sends a clear message that our society does not accept cruelty against animals. We’ve received support from so many Americans from across the country and across the political spectrum,” said Deutch in an official statement shortly after the House passed the bill. “I’m deeply thankful for all of the advocates who helped us pass this bill, and I look forward to the Senate’s swift passage and the president’s signature.”

Senator Pat Toomey (PA) sponsored the bill along with Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal. Toomey points out that people who harm animals are subject to hurting other people, too. He seems to be right considering the ongoing issues of mass shootings and other violent acts also in the constant news cycle. There have been countless stories of killers whose path started with them torturing animals when they were younger, too. Of course, this bill won’t fully address other underlying issues like racism and gun control, but it could be a solid start to deter people from engaging (and possibly) escalating harmful behavior towards other living beings.

“”Passing this legislation is a major victory in the effort to stop animal cruelty and make our communities safer,” said Sen. Toomey. “Evidence shows that the deranged individuals who harm animals often move on to committing acts of violence against people. It is appropriate that the federal government have strong animal cruelty laws and penalties.”

The PACT Act is a big step towards treating animals with the dignity and respect that they deserve. Hopefully, it will become a full-fledged law and make the world a little more humane.

Image Credit: iStock photo

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