TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)-- The U.S Senate unanimously passed a bill that would make animal cruelty a federal crime.
It's called Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act or for short, the PACT Act.
Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act or the PACT Act
This bill revises and expands criminal provisions with respect to animal crushing.
It retains existing criminal offenses that prohibit knowingly creating or distributing an animal crush video using interstate commerce. The bill also adds a new provision to criminalize an intentional act of animal crushing. A violator is subject to criminal penalties—a fine, a prison term of up to seven years, or both.
It provides additional exceptions for conduct, or a video of conduct, including conduct that is (1) medical or scientific research, (2) necessary to protect the life or property of a person, (3) performed as part of euthanizing an animal, or (4) unintentional.
The PACT Act would fine or give someone up to seven years of prison time for abusing an animal.
That includes crushing, burning, any bodily harm, or drowning for example.
It's an expansion on a law that was passed in 2010.
That law made selling or creating animal crushing videos illegal.
The initial bill didn't make the underlying acts a federal crime.
Sarah Valentine is the general manager at the Terre Haute Humane Society.
she told me this law will help close some of the loopholes in the current law.
While at the shelter our News 10 crew saw several animals that have been neglected or abused.
Valentine believes the PACT Act is a step in the right direction.
"I know we're not the only shelter that sees them from dog fighting rings to cockfighting it happens and people don't realize that this happens more often. You take responsibility when you become a pet owner and you need to be responsible for them their entire lives", said Valentine.
The bill is waiting on a signature from the president.