The US House of Representatives approved a bill Tuesday aimed at preventing animal cruelty.
The bill, known as the “Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act” or the “PACT Act,” is particularly aimed at preventing and punishing animal crushing by making it illegal for people to crush animals. It is also makes it illegal for people to create animal crushing videos that will be distributed. Finally, it makes it illegal for people to knowingly distribute those videos. Anybody who is found guilty of doing any of these things “shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 7 years, or both.”
There are a number of exceptions detailed in the bill. The bill does not criminalize any conduct that is “a customary and normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry, or other animal management practice.” It also does not criminalize medical research, hunting or fishing, or any conduct that is “performed as part of euthanizing an animal.”
Regarding the distribution of videos portion of the bill, the bill allows for “the good-faith distribution of an animal crush video” to authorities and to third parties “for the sole purpose of analysis to determine if referral to a law enforcement agency is appropriate.”