On Monday, November 25th, President Trump signed the PACT Act (Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture), making animal cruelty a federal felony.
All 50 states have laws against animal cruelty on their books at the state level, and now, under the PACT Act, those convicted can face federal felony charges, fines and up to seven years in prison.
The bipartisan act passed the Senate earlier in the month and expands a previous law passed in 2010. Previously, Federal law had only prohibited animal fighting and only criminalized animal cruelty if the wrongdoers created and sold videos depicting the act. The PACT Act also prohibits crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating or impaling animals or sexually exploiting them. Federal authorities, with Trump’s approval, can go after the wrongdoers as they will have federal jurisdiction and will not be bound by state laws. Criminals can also be prosecuted if the cruelty occurs on federal property.
Trump said his reaction to the Act was the same as his reaction to the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act he had signed a few minutes earlier, saying, “Why hasn’t this happened a long time ago?”
“It is important that we combat these heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty,” he said.