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Senate votes to make animal cruelty a felony

If convicted, animal abusers can face up to seven years in prison and fines

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The U.S. Senate has voted unanimously to advance the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, following House passage of the bill on Oct. 22.

The new law builds on the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which was passed in 2010. While it made the creation, sale, and distribution of animal “crushing” videos illegal, these acts of cruelty against animals remained legal. The videos are often made for profit.

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) president John Howe, DVM, applauded the legislation.

“[The] vote by the Senate to advance the PACT Act is a historic victory for animal welfare,” Dr Howe said. “Thanks to the bipartisan work of lawmakers and animal welfare advocates, we’re one step closer to finally criminalizing the cruel and inhumane act of animal crushing.”

The bill now advances to President Donald Trump to sign it into law.

Those prosecuted and convicted under the law will face federal felony charges, fines, and up to seven years in prison.

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