On Monday, November 25, President Trump signed a bipartisan bill that makes acts of animal cruelty a federal crime punishable with fines and up to seven years in prison. Representatives Vern Buchanan (R-FL) and Representative Ted Deutch (D-FL) introduced the bill in the House earlier this year. The bill was passed unanimously in the House in October and then passed unanimously in the Senate earlier this month. With President Trump’s signing yesterday, the bill has officially gone into affect.
The bill, called the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act expands the 2010 law signed by President Obama that banned videos that show animals being tortured. Under the new bill, intentional acts of cruelty shown in videos are also felony offenses.
Currently, laws in all 50 states already include felony provisions for animal cruelty. This federal bill will help prosecutors address cases of abused animals that cross state lines. The bill does not apply to people who slaughter animals for food or those who hunt, trap and fish.