Lawmakers in Florida are introducing a new bill that will make animal cruelty a crime nationwide.
Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act targets those who crush, burn, drown, suffocate or impale animals. Thos who are found guilty of such acts of violence against animals could face up to seven years in prison.
“The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Representative Vern Buchanan, a republican who is behind the bill, has told the Orlando Sentinel.
His co-presenter of the bill, democrat Representative Ted Deutch said the effort it “commonsense, bipartisan legislation to bring some compassion to our animal laws.”
The PACT Act has been introduced to lawmakers before and has been passed by the US Senate unanimously, however, it was blocked from coming to the floor by former Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, who is no longer serving Congress.
“We’ve acted in the past to stop the horrific trend of animal abuse videos. Now, it’s time to make the underlying acts of cruelty a crime as well,” Deutch added.
According to Green Matters, the Humane Society applauded the new bill and hoped to eliminate the former legislation’s loopholes in its earlier law, wherein it only makes it illegal when a video of the animal abuse was being recorded.
“Decades ago, the Federal Bureau of Investigation recognized the seriousness of animal cruelty and its link to escalating violence toward humans,” Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund, has told the Sentinel.