A bipartisan pair of lawmakers is pushing to make animal cruelty a nationwide felony.
The bill, known as the Preventing Animal Cruel and Torture (PACT) Act, is co-sponsored by Democrat Ted Deutch and Republican Vern Buchanan.
PACT would criminalize “crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling animals.” The measure would also address bestiality and other attempts to sexually exploit animals.
Deutch tweeted, “We will get this done. It’s bipartisan, common-sense policy that will protect our animals.”
Those found guilty under the law would spend up to seven years in prison.
If passed, this bill would also close the loophole left behind by 2010’s Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act. This law banned the creation and distribution of “crush videos.”
“In so-called ‘crush videos,’ individuals viciously torture, mutilate, and kill small animals to satisfy the bizarre fetishes of viewers.
The bill does contain exceptions for veterinary care, hunting, and conduct necessary to protect life of property from a serious animal threat.
The Humane Society Legislative Fund praised the bill in a release, saying that Deutch and Buchanan’s law is a “long overdue” federal statute that will fill “gaps” in felony provisions in all 50 states.