U.S. Senate Passes Federal Anti-Cruelty Bill

Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act Headed to the President’s Desk

Today, the U.S. Senate passed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act by unanimous consent. The bill, led by U.S. Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), would establish the first federal anti-cruelty law. The House of Representatives also recently passed a companion bill, led by Reps. Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL), and now the measure goes to President Trump for his signature.

“The U.S. is far overdue to establish a federal anti-cruelty law,” said Holly Gann, director of federal affairs at Animal Wellness Action and the Animal Wellness Foundation. “We as a nation should have no tolerance for animal abuse, and the PACT Act will allow federal authorities to stop heinous crimes when they occur on the federal level. We applaud Senators Toomey and Blumenthal for their tremendous work to shepherd this bill to passage in the Senate.”

“There’s no place in a civilized society for maiming and torturing animals— period. I’m grateful to Sen. Toomey for his leadership, and glad that the PACT Act is finally becoming law,” said U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.

The PACT Act would prohibit extreme acts of cruelty when they occur in interstate commerce or on federal property and cracks down on widespread sexual abuse of animals (bestiality). While current federal law bans the sale of videos showing illegal acts of cruelty, it does not prohibit the underlying conduct. Law enforcement agencies across the country, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Animal Wellness National Law Enforcement Council, have endorsed the PACT Act because of the well-documented connection between animal cruelty and violence against people.

The bill obtained a tremendous showing of support with 302 cosponsors in the House and 41 in the Senate. The Senate bill previously passed the Senate by unanimous consent in the 114th and 115th Congress, but it was blocked in the House at that time by former House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) despite the overwhelming bipartisan support.

The organizations now urge the President to sign the bill to make it law.

 

Contact: Marty Irby, marty@animalwellnessaction.org202-821-5686

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