BREAKING NEWS: PACT Act passes U.S. Senate two weeks after clearing House; Bill now awaits Trump’s signature

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

By on November 5, 2019 with 24 Comments

A long-awaited law that would make some of the most brutal acts of animal cruelty federal felonies is just one signature away from becoming reality.

The U.S. Senate moments ago unanimously passed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, a bill that will make certain malicious animal cruelty within federal jurisdiction, including crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling live animals and sexually exploiting them, a federal crime

The passage of this bill is a well-deserved victory for our colleagues at the Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Protection Litigation division and at the Humane Society Legislative Fund, who were instrumental in helping the sponsors draft this legislation and have led the fight to pass the PACT Act for almost a decade now. The bill is a no-brainer for most Americans and this is the third time that the full Senate has voted to pass it. The House – where it had stalled in previous years – unanimously passed identical legislation two weeks ago, this time spurred by new leadership.

The PACT Act would strengthen the federal animal crush video law that was enacted in 2010 at the urging of the Humane Society of the United States and HSLF. This law banned the creation, sale and distribution of obscene videos that show live animals being crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled or subjected to other forms of heinous cruelty, but it had a significant gap. It gave federal prosecutors no legal recourse to hold perpetrators accountable for extreme cruelty when the crime happened on federal property or affected interstate commerce, unless an obscene video had been produced.

Our Animal Protection Litigation team had the foresight to recognize this deficiency in the law and to put forward the recommendation that became the PACT Act. The bill will remove the loophole by prohibiting these acts, regardless of whether a video has been produced, when they occur on federal property, such as federal prisons and national parks or in interstate commerce, including moving animals across state lines or information exchanged on websites that allows animal exploitation such as bestiality to occur.

We applaud Sens. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., for their persistence and leadership on seeing this bill through. They, along with the House sponsors – Reps. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., and former Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas – have been tremendous champions of this cause.

The bill now heads to President Trump’s desk and we hope he will quickly sign it into law. Please call the White House switchboard at 202-456-1414 and ask to leave a comment urging the president to sign this bill. History – and media reports – are replete with examples of criminals who start out by hurting animals and move on to hurting humans. The sooner we can bring those who commit unspeakable acts of violence against innocent animals to justice, the safer our world will be for everyone.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Categories
Companion Animals, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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24 Comments

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  1. Nina Lamb says:

    Please sign the bill making animal abuse and all violence against animals a criminal offense with jail time as a punishment! There are so many people who torture animals for FUN!! The only way to prevent this is to make laws and punishments more adequate!

  2. Rose herrmann says:

    Your page would not take my valid email

  3. Jodene Ernsberger says:

    It’s about time!!! An eye for an eye, do unto others as you would have done to you! We are the animals voices, we MUST protect them.

  4. Jodene Ernsberger says:

    IT’S ABOUT TIME! An eye for an eye, do unto others as you would have done to you! We are the animals voices, we must protect them!

  5. Lilibeth Reyes says:

    Mr. President we need your sigh to this human rights for tha animals. Please sign it.

  6. Christine Aquilina says:

    Please sign this ASAP !
    Thank you ! These poor animals need your signature !

  7. Betty C. Jepsen says:

    AMEN. It is about time. Yes, i will sign this trillions and more times. Please President Trump. See that this comes into effect right away. Been long waited for this too come forward. God Love the Animals that have gone through such terrible acts by Others that have Tortured and Murdered those precious gifts from God.. Can understand why. Same with abused Adults and Specially Babies and Children have also suffered. Pit Bull can be so loving when raised in a loving home, but parents forget after the puppy grows up, the children should be taught how too treat that Pet. Love and care, not teasing. Please sign President Trump. Please!

  8. Beth perra says:

    Please please please sign….

  9. Natasha says:

    Just sign it they need our love and help.

  10. D.Nadeau says:

    Yes we so needs this to pass this bill…be the voice of the abused and tortured has gone on way too long in our lifetime.

  11. Cathy Taylor says:

    Yes, Yes, Yes!!!!

  12. Johnmccaskill says:

    All animal’s have the right to a happy life and no fear of miss treatment. In my opinion the only reason to take a animal’s life is to feed your families. No trophy killing.

  13. Sally Elms says:

    I pray that the President will turn his full attention to this bill, and gain a clear understanding of how vitally important it is that he signs it to be passed as law!
    Amen

  14. Sabine lestat says:

    This is such an important cause! Please make this happen! The animals need to be protected and people need to pay for their horrific actions towards them!

  15. Alice says:

    Please sign this bill immediately!😻😺😽😸🙀😾

  16. Lisa Gibson says:

    I, very foolishly, watched part of a crush video and have nightmares to this day. These people need to face the consequences of their SICK behavior. No excuses! No one with an iota of decency could fail to support this bill. Trump? Well, let’s hope he will sign it.

  17. LARRY A. PETERS says:

    I am a Private Investigator. I have a domestic case where somebody stole this woman’s dogs killed them and hung them in her back yard. I tried to get through to the White house to request he sign. My question is this: Can this law be retro active for at least one year.

  18. Terry says:

    I hope by now Pres. Trump has signed. This law is long overdue.

  19. Judith Glick says:

    Please sign the bill

  20. Carol Keith says:

    Sadly, this signature is one that hasn’t helped any other animal, be it wild or domesticate…so I don’t have much faith that it will this time either. Prove me wrong trump…prove me wrong.

  21. Carol Keith says:

    My sincere thanks to the two Senators who have kept their persistence on these VIP acts.

  22. Claire obrien says:

    am so happy the law passed

  23. Steve Barney says:

    According to this bill tracker, this bill has not yet gone to the President:
    https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/724/text

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