The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act closes a loophole that made it hard to prosecute cases on federal property.
Animal cruelty and torture is now a federal crime; while that won’t likely impact the good life for Harley Rouda’s pups, the California Democrat took the opportunity to share his dogs’ reaction to this ‘bipawtisan’ moment in history.
The first-term lawmaker was one of 301 co-sponsors of the House bill that passed unanimously in October. It passed the Senate unanimously in November. A few days before Thanksgiving, Donald Trump, the first president in a century to not have a dog in the White House, signed the bill into law last week.
“Thank you, @realDonaldTrump, for signing this bill into law + thanks to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their work on this “bi-pawtisan” issue,” Rouda tweeted.
The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act outlaws purposeful crushing, burning, drowning, suffocation, impalement or other violence causing “serious bodily injury” to animals. Convicted felons will be subject to jail time and fines.
All states have provisions against animal cruelty, “but without a federal ban, it’s hard to prosecute cases that span different jurisdictions or that occur in airports, military bases and other places under federal purview,” Kitty Block, president of the Humane Society of the United States, said.
The PACT Act would also strengthen the federal animal crush video law that was enacted in 2010, according to The Humane Society. This forbids the making, sale and distribution of extreme content that show live animals being subjected to heinous cruelty, but it had a significant gap, the HSPCA said, because it gave federal prosecutors no legal recourse to hold perpetrators accountable for extreme cruelty when the crime happened on federal property. The PACT Act removes that loophole.
At a minimum, this doggo is happy: