Lawmakers introduce bill to make animal cruelty federal felony

A bipartisan bill that would make acts of animal cruelty and bestiality a federal felony has been reintroduced Wednesday by two Florida congressman, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-West Boca, and Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, are sponsoring the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act.

The PACT Act was written to address “crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling animals” and sexually exploiting them.

Anyone convicted of the crime could face a seven-year prison sentence.

Deutch said the effort was “commonsense, bipartisan legislation to bring some compassion to our animal laws,”

The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed the PACT Act twice in the past.

It also had 284 bipartisan House cosponsors in the previous session of Congress and had over 200 endorsements from law enforcement officials.

However, in the house, the measure was blocked by former Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. and unable to come to the floor.

The bill has a better chance to pass this time, according to Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

The bill has exceptions in it for standard veterinary care, hunting and conduct that is necessary to protect life or property from a serious animal-related threat.

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