Yesterday, the House unanimously passed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act. This bill was introduced by Florida Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) the law would make it a federal crime for "any person to intentionally engage" in animal cruelty, including burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling or otherwise injuring "non-mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians," per a fact sheet provided by Rep. Deutch's office.
"This bill sends a clear message that our society does not accept cruelty against animals," Deutch said in a statement. "We’ve received support from so many Americans from across the country and across the political spectrum. Animal rights activists have stood up for living things that do not have a voice."
This bill would not interfere with local legislation against animal cruelty. The bill expands a prior law that criminalized the creation and distribution of "obscene" videos of animal abuse but not the acts of violence themselves.
Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced the Senate companion of the bill in February.