Animal cruelty could become a nationwide felony as 2 Florida lawmakers push bill

Posted at 5:40 AM, Jan 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-28 06:40:28-05

WASHINGTON — A bill introduced by two Florida congressmen would make acts of animal cruelty and bestiality a felony nationwide.

The Orlando Sentinel reports the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act introduced by Reps. Ted Deutch, D-West Boca, and Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, would target “crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling animals.”

It, too, would address efforts to sexually exploit them.

A person convicted of the crime could spend up to seven years in prison.

Passed in 2010, the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act aimed to stop people from producing videos showing animals subjected to mutilation. The congressmen note, however, it did not go far enough as the law only applied when a video was being made.

“We’ve acted in the past to stop the horrific trend of animal abuse videos. Now it’s time to make the underlying acts of cruelty a crime as well,” said Deutch as quoted in the Sentinel.

Although most states consider varying degrees of animal cruelty a felony, some penalties are considered a misdemeanor, according to the Humane Society. All states carry varying lengths of jail time if a person is convicted.