Animal Cruelty May Soon Be a Federal Offense

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Animal Cruelty

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerFederal lawmakers have been working on a proposal since the beginning of the year and in late October, that piece of legislation came much closer to becoming law. The new law, if passed, would make animal cruelty a federal crime. Currently, animal cruelty laws are largely left to the states to enact and enforce. The proposed bill is an attempt to expand on a law that was passed during the Obama administration. It has not passed yet but has so far received bipartisan support.

Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010

While Barack Obama was in the White House, he signed into law the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010. This law was in response to a series of extremely disturbing videos depicting animal cruelty. The law got its name because the videos often showed animals being crushed, along with a number of other violent acts. This act made it illegal for people to videotape these acts of cruelty.

However, lawmakers have argued that the law did not go far enough. While the law did forbid the videotaping of animal cruelty, it did nothing to stop the actual acts depicted in the video. It is for this reason that since January of 2019, lawmakers have been trying to push through another law that would correct that.

The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act

The proposed piece of legislation is known as the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT). It would make it illegal to purposely injure non-human mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. Although no one wants to see an animal hurt, the inclusion of the word ‘purposely’ is going to become very important if it is passed into law. Otherwise, a dog owner that accidentally stepped on their pet’s tail could face some of the worst criminal charges.

The PACT Act was introduced by Representatives Ted Deutch and Vern Buchanan and was a truly bipartisan effort. It was passed unanimously through the House and now goes to the Senate. The Senate is likely to approve the law, as it has already supported the bill in two previous sessions. President Trump has not commented on whether or not he will sign the bill if it makes it to his desk. Very similarly to marijuana laws, if the PACT Act is passed, the federal law would not interfere with state laws regarding animal cruelty.

Under the PACT Act, anyone caught intentionally inflicting injury on an animal could face up to seven years in federal prison.

Your Federal Charges Need Our Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Attorney

Although this new law has not been passed yet, there are still many people facing charges when they are innocent. If you have been charged with a federal crime, call our Chicago federal criminal defense lawyer today. At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, our attorney knows how to defend against federal charges and will always stand up for your rights to give you the best chance of retaining your freedom. If you have been charged with a federal offense, call us today at 312-629-0669 to schedule your free consultation.


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