By Meredith Ayan, Executive Director
It might surprise you, but there is currently no federal law against animal cruelty. While all 50 states consider animal cruelty a felony offense, the lack of federal law means local law enforcement often struggles with cases involving federal land or multiple states.
So, I’m happy to share that federal lawmakers are reaching across party lines in support of the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act which would make it illegal to crush, burn, drown, suffocate or impale animals.
This common-sense legislation is an important step toward the further protection of animals across the United States.
The bill focuses on intentional animal cruelty and includes provisions for veterinary care, hunting, and unintentional acts, among several other exemptions. Personally, I believe this bill falls short in exempting animals used in scientific research, but I believe it is still a step in the right direction.
This legislation would build upon existing federal laws that prohibit the dissemination of materials showing animal cruelty but don’t criminalize the actual act of animal cruelty under federal law.
By closing this loophole, federal resources could be directed to animal cruelty cases which means animals will be safer and abusers will face stiffer penalties.
I believe this law is long overdue and that animals in the United States deserve to receive protection and justice from the federal government. In my opinion, this bill is critically important to stopping animal abuse by deterring criminals and holding them accountable.
You can read the full text and track the bill on the official United States Congress website, and I encourage you to contact your legislators to share your thoughts on the bill.