Last week, two members of the U.S. House of Representatives re-introduced a bill that would make malicious acts of animal cruelty a felony nationwide.
A person who would be convicted of the crime could potentially face a fine or up to seven years in prison or potentially, both.
Known as the Preventing Animal Cruel and Torture (PACT) Act, the bill is co-sponsored by Democrat Ted Deutch and Republican Vern Buchanan.
PACT would criminalize “crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling animals.”
The measure would also deal with bestiality and other attempts to sexually exploit innocent animals.
“We will get this done. It’s bipartisan, common-sense policy that will protect our animals.” Deutch tweeted out.
Buchanan, his congressional colleague, also said that protecting animals from cruelty is a “top priority” for him.
“The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” he also tweeted.
The legislation does contain exceptions for hunting, veterinary care as well as actions necessary to protect life or property from a serious threat from any animal.
The Human Society Legislative Fund supports the mentioned measures, also noting how many states consider specific acts of animal cruelty a felony — while some penalties are still considered a misdemeanor.
According to the group, the bill earned 284 bipartisan co-sponsors as well as over 200 law enforcement endorsements in the previous session of Congress.
But the Judiciary committee Chairmen Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) kept it from coming to the floor for a vote.
Goodlatte is no longer in Cross and supporters of the measure are now more positive about the odds of it passing this time around.
The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, a previous law to protect animals, was passed in 2010 and outlaws producing horrific videos of animal abuse.
Cruelty as well as neglect, according to media reports, span across the board and animal abuse is common in both rural as well as urban areas.
The Human Society reports that intentional cruelty to animals is strongly correlated with other crimes — including violence against people.
Hoarding behavior may impose severe neglect on animals by housing standards and usually, those who suffer from hoarding habits usually indicate people are in need of social or mental health services.
Surveys also suggest that those who intentionally abuse animals are men under 30 while those who are involved with animal hoarding are more likely to be women over the age of 60.
The most common victims of animals who are abused are most often dogs, cats, horses as well as livestock.
Thanks to undercover investigations, it has been found that animal abuse skyrockets in the factory farm industry but due to weak protections afforded to livestock under state currently laws, only the most alarming cases are reported and few are ever prosecuted.
The Human Society has “long led the push for stronger animal cruelty laws and provides training for law officials to detect and prosecute these crimes. With South Dakota joining the fight in March of 2014, animal cruelty laws now include felony provisions in all 50 states.”
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