The Senate has passed S. 654, the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act. The House of Representatives must now act on its version of the bill, H.R. 1494. Over 60 percent of the House of Representatives have cosponsored this bill, but it has not been scheduled for a vote. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy should bring this important bill to the floor quickly in order to outlaw sadistic and brutal acts of animal cruelty.
In so-called “crush videos,” individuals viciously torture, mutilate, and kill small animals to satisfy the bizarre fetishes of viewers. Although there is a federal law prohibiting the creation and distribution of such videos, it does not cover the underlying acts of animal abuse. Often, it is not possible to identify from the video alone where the act took place—thus rendering it out of reach of state laws that might otherwise punish the perpetrators. The PACT Act would eliminate this problem by extending federal jurisdiction to these particularly heinous acts.
Preventing and punishing such cruelty is both an animal welfare and a human safety imperative. More and more, the law enforcement and legal communities recognize that animal cruelty is both a serious crime in and of itself, and a precursor to other violent crimes. By providing law enforcement and the criminal justice system with another tool for responding to the unspeakable acts of animal cruelty, the PACT Act would protect our communities from many types of violence.
Please call and ask Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy to bring H.R. 1494 to the House floor for a vote as soon as possible, so that the House of Representatives can pass this important piece of legislation, just as the Senate has.
You can contact Majority Leader McCarthy at 202-225-4000. Here are some brief talking points to highlight:
- H.R. 1494, the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, is a strongly bipartisan bill, with 282 cosponsors.
- The Senate has already passed its version of the bill, and it is now up to the House of Representatives to act in order to outlaw these particularly disturbing and sadistic acts of animal abuse.
- Current law regarding “crush videos” does not cover the heinous acts of animal cruelty themselves—it covers only the creation and distribution of the videos. The PACT Act is needed to close this unintended loophole.
- The PACT Act is consistent with other federal laws that address malicious acts of animal cruelty that affect interstate commerce.
Be sure to share our Dear Humanitarian alert with family, friends, and co-workers and encourage them to write, too! As always, thank you for taking action on behalf of the animals.