Animal Cruelty Law: New Bill to Make Animal Abuse a Felony All Over the US – Here’s Why It Matters

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Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives re-introduced a bill last week that would make malicious acts of animal cruelty a felony nationwide. 

Here’s what Nexter.org knows about it.

What is PACT Act?

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The shocking number of animal cruelty cases reported every day is just the tip of the iceberg—most cases are never reported. Unlike violent crimes against people, cases of animal abuse are not compiled by state or federal agencies, making it difficult to calculate just how common they are.

Congressman Ted Deutch and Vern Buchanan, both from Florida, think the PACT Act will close a gap that’s existed for years.

Federal law prohibits animal fighting. And it also criminalizes animal cruelty if the wrongdoers create and sell videos depicting the act. But the PACT Act – which stands for Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture – will broaden the scope of prosecutors. A person convicted of the crime could face a fine or up to seven years in prison, or both.

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Source: hsmo

Under the PACT Act, a person can be prosecuted for crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, and impaling and sexually exploiting them.

The legislation contains exceptions for hunting, veterinary care, and actions necessary to protect life or property from a serious threat from an animal.

The Humane Society Legislative Fund supports the measure, noting that while most states consider certain acts of animal cruelty a felony, some penalties are still considered misdemeanors. The bill earned 284 bipartisan co-sponsors and more than 200 law enforcement endorsements in the previous session of Congress, according to the group.

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Source: Getty Images

Why it matters?

The whose abuse is most often reported are dogs, cats, horses and livestock. Undercover investigations have revealed that animal abuse abounds in the factory farm industry. But because of the weak protections afforded to livestock under state cruelty laws, only the most shocking cases are reported, and few are ever prosecuted.

Here are some facts if you still think that the problem is overrated:

  • There are approximately 70 million pet dogs and 74.1 million pet cats in the U.S. where 20 men and women are assaulted per minute (an average of around 10 million a year).
  • In one survey, 71 percent of domestic violence victims reported that their abuser also targeted pets.
  • In one study of families under investigation for suspected child abuse, researchers found that pet abuse had occurred in 88 percent of the families under supervision for physical abuse of their children.

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Summary
Animal Cruelty Law: New Bill to Make Animal Abuse a Felony All Over the US - Here's Why It Matters
Title
Animal Cruelty Law: New Bill to Make Animal Abuse a Felony All Over the US - Here's Why It Matters
Description
Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives re-introduced a bill last week that would make malicious acts of animal cruelty a felony nationwide. 
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