New Animal Protection Bill Could See Abusers Get 7 Years in Prison
Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act will convict animal abusers
Two Florida lawmakers are reintroducing a bill that will increase the penalties for those convicted of animal abuse, seeing those guilty of such crimes facing up to seven years in prison, according to reports.
If passed, the reintroduced bill would make animal cruelty a felony.
This will translate to a lengthy jail time for those who commit these crimes along with a hefty fine.
The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act will convict abusers for “crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling animals.”
The bill is being pushed by U.S. Representatives Vern Buchanan and Ted Deutch are behind the push, and Buchanan said in a statement:
“The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
"Protecting animals from cruelty is a top priority for me and I look forward to working with Congressman Deutch on this important issue.”
Deutch tweeted, “We will get this done. It’s bipartisan, common-sense policy that will protect our animals.”
“We’ve acted in the past to stop the horrific trend of animal abuse videos,” Deutch said, according to The Orlando Sentinel.
“Now it’s time to make the underlying acts of cruelty a crime as well.”
More than 200 sheriffs and police departments in 36 states, and national groups including the National Sheriffs’ Association, Fraternal Order of Police, and Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, have endorsed the legislation.
The bill has previously been blocked from the floor, but there is optimism among supporters that it will be passed this time around.
“The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed the ‘PACT Act’ twice before, and it earned 284 bipartisan House co-sponsors and over 200 law enforcement endorsements in the 115th Congress,” the Humane Society wrote.
“With a new Judiciary committee chairman, Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., chances that the bill will finally become law this year are much brighter."
The PACT Act will close a gap in the law.
What this means is perpetrators of malicious acts of cruelty towards animals will be subject to prosecution wherever they occur, not just on federal land in the states where they are caught, but also in other states if the animals have been moved interstate.
Many organizations and individuals are hoping, and praying, that the legislation will be passed.
If the bill is passed then our animal friends may be able to sleep easy.
According to Humane Society, a correlation between domestic violence and those who abuse animals has been found.
In one survey, 71 percent of domestic violence victims reported that their abuser also targeted pets.
If you happen to witness a case of animal abuse or cruelty, you should contact your local animal control agency or animal shelter, or you can call 9-1-1 and report the incident.
Remember, you may be the only lifeline the poor animal has.
If it is a life-threatening situation, you need to take immediate action.
Remember to write down all details such as place and time of the abuse, and take photos if you can.
Also, write down any witnesses who are prepared to back you up.
Don’t forget animals are often dependent on us to take action.