Senate Unanimously Passes Bill That Makes Animal Cruelty A Federal Felony

The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a bill making certain acts of animal cruelty a federal felony, CNN reported.

The PACT Act, which stands for Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture, was approved on Tuesday and will now head to President Trump's desk to be signed, at which point it will become law.

Florida Reps. Ted Deutch (D) and Vern Buchanan (R) sponsored the bipartisan bill.

Unsplash | Aditya Joshi

It was unanimously passed by the House on October 22 before it was sent to the Senate.

The bill, expanding on a law passed in 2010, makes it a federal crime for "any person to intentionally engage in animal crushing if the animals or animal crushing is in, substantially affects, or uses a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce."

Without getting too descriptive, "animal crushing" is when people quite literally use their feet to crush (or stomp on) animals.

Unsplash | Amruth Pillai

"There's no place in a civilized society for maiming and torturing animals - period," tweeted Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal, who co-sponsored the bill in the Senate.

Current federal laws strictly prohibit animal fighting, but only criminalizes acts of animal cruelty if they are filmed and subsequently sold.

The PACT Act criminalizes anyone found guilty of crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling, or sexually exploiting animals.

Unsplash | Justin Veenema

Those who are convicted would face federal felony charges, fines, and up to seven years in prison.

Right now, all 50 U.S. states have laws against animal cruelty on the state-level. But if the PACT Act becomes law, authorities won't be bound by state law and can pursue the animal abusers because they will have federal jurisdiction.

h/t: CNN