President Donald Trump Makes Animal Cruelty A Federal Crime In The US

Ben PulsfordBen Pulsford in News, World
Published 26.11.19
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Donald Trump just made animal cruelty a federal crime punishable by seven years in prison

Great. It’s only taken him three years to do something right.

It really does feel very strange to be writing a story about how the actions of Donald Trump might end up doing somebody, somewhere, some good.

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump talks with animal rights supporters after signing the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, in the Oval Office on 25th November 2019

I kind of feel like I’m betraying my own moral guidelines here by even writing positively about the man, but it’s hard to argue with definitive actions that will lead to the better – and this will undoubtedly save countless animal lives.

President Trump signs landmark bill making animal cruelty a federal crime

I’m talking about a landmark bill that the POTUS signed in the Oval Office on Monday 25th November, one making any kind of detestable acts of animal cruelty a federal crime; one punishable by up to seven years in prison. The bi-partisan bill, known as Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, is officially now US law, after sailing through the House of Representatives and the Senate with unanimous support.

The President said the new measure would help everyone become “more responsible and humane stewards of our planet.” 

Trump added:

“It is important that we combat these heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty.

“This is a very important bill and it’s an honour to be involved with it.

“I’m glad we got it done.”

dog in cage

While all 50 US states have felony provisions against animal cruelty, there was no federal ban against animal cruelty and torture until now. Naturally, humane groups like The Humane Society are hailing the new law as a defining moment for the protection of animals.

PACT Act strengthens the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010

The PACT Act strengthens the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which prohibits the creation, sale and distribution of videos showing extreme acts of animal cruelty, by allowing the law to prosecute the underlying acts of cruelty—regardless of whether the abusers in question created a video of their conduct.

The bill will make it a federal crime for “any person to intentionally engage in animal crushing if the animals or animal crushing is in, substantially affects, or uses a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce,” according to a fact sheet on the bill.

cat in cage

What is ‘crushing’?

Animal rights organisation Care (Coexistence of Animal Rights on Earth) describes ‘animal crushing’ as follows (prepare yourselves – this isn’t an easy read):

“Animal crushing is the act of torturing animals which is brutally committed in numerous ways, often small live animals such as kittens, puppies, bunnies, and mice. Videos often feature women in high heels stepping on small animals and crushing them. But the violence doesn’t stop there. A puppy being burned alive. A cat being nailed to the floor. These are some of the horrific examples of animal crush videos and pictures that have been circulating the Internet.”

So effectively, this is when sick f*ckers torture innocent animals.

dog in cage

“Any movement to signal and enforce a positive environment for these great animals is a step in the right direction”

Animal welfare advocate Lara Trump (the president’s daughter-in-law), told MailOnline:

“I could not be more excited for President Trump to take this historic step today, publicly signing into law a bill tackling the nefarious and unacceptable world of animal cruelty.

“Our companion pets are family members, and our working dogs are our heroes, and any movement to signal and enforce a positive environment for these great animals is a step in the right direction.”

 “This is a milestone for pet owners and animal lovers across the country”

Representative Vern Buchanan, R-Fla, one of the men behind the implementation of this new bill (alongside Rep. Vern Buchanan) said:

 “This is a milestone for pet owners and animal lovers across the country.

“For the first time, a national law has been passed by Congress to protect animals from cruelty and abuse.”

Exceptions to the law

As with all laws, there are specific exceptions. This new law does not apply to the likes of hunting, trapping, fishing, certain sporting activities, slaughtering livestock and medical or scientific research.

Plenty of work still be done then. But a clear step forward, nonetheless. About time. 

Images via Getty

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