Vice President of Media Strategy, NAVC
Our poll asking whether our Facebook fans had ever suspected a pet owner of animal abuse coincided with the unanimous passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act (H.R. 724), introduced by Congressman Ted Deutch (FL-22) and Congressman Vern Buchanan (FL-16). PACT criminalizes certain acts of animal cruelty and strengthens the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, a law enacted in 2010. The 2010 legislation made the creation and distribution of animal crushing videos illegal, but the underlying acts of cruelty against animals were not included. The PACT Act closes this loophole by prohibiting certain cases of animal abuse. While all 50 states consider animal cruelty a felony, lawmakers said it was necessary to make animal cruelty a federal felony.
“The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Buchanan said in a statement. “Passing the PACT Act sends a strong message that this behavior will not be tolerated.” (The bill is now being considered by the Senate.)
Sadly, our recent Facebook poll indicates the legislation is badly needed. With 446 people voting, 88% indicated they suspected pet owners of animal abuse.
Have you ever suspected a pet owner of animal abuse?
“By building on state and local laws, Congress should act to guarantee a level of protection for animals across the country by criminalizing these inhumane acts,” Deutch said in the statement. “We’ve acted in the past to stop the horrific trend of animal abuse videos; now it’s time to make the underlying acts of cruelty a crime as well.”
Find additional articles on animal welfare in the Ethics and Welfare section of our website.