For those of us that love our furry friends like one of the family, it is hard to imagine ever hurting one of these precious creatures. Legal cases all across the US prove that far too often animals are abused. In years past, varying state laws led to inconsistencies in prosecution. Furthermore, the law did not offer protection to all animals and was often lax, merely giving the abuser a slap on the hand. All of this has changed as a new bi-partisan supported bill was signed into law by the president.
The new law is called the PACT Act or the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture act. This new law increases protection for animals at the Federal level. While there were some federal laws in place regarding animal cruelty prior to the PACT act, it was limited to the prevention of animal fighting. Furthermore, the only way perpetrators would face consequences is if they made and sold videos of the abuse.
The new law is revolutionary as it outlines specific types of cruelty that is punishable under Federal law. The law protects animals from acts, such as drowning, crushing, suffocating, burning, impaling, or sexual exploitation.
Penalties for such acts are now serious and equal to the atrocities committed against animals. Anyone who is convicted of animal cruelty under the PACT act will acquire a federal felony. Additionally, the perpetrator will be subject to other unpleasant penalties, including substantial fines and, as much as seven years spent behind bars.
For those concerned with how this new legislation will impact their ability to hunt, provisions have been included in the law. Hunters may still legally kill animals humanely for the purpose of food.
At the current time, all US states have laws against animal cruelty. However, this is on a state level, meaning each state’s laws are different, criminalizing cruel acts to various degrees depending upon the individual state.
Thus, the PACT act is revolutionary in protecting animals in a broader sense and holding all perpetrators fully accountable.
This new legislation may allow federal jurisdiction to reign supreme over state laws regarding animal cruelty. This would allow federal authorities to handle perpetrators across the US, holding them accountable to the consequences outlined in the PACT act. The act also allows the authorities jurisdiction at the federal level to prosecute acts of cruelty that were completed on federal property.
For animal lovers across the United States, this seems like a true win for our furry friends.