WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed into law on Monday a bill sponsored by two Florida congressmen that makes many forms of animal cruelty a federal offense.
The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture, or PACT, Act was introduced by Reps. Vern Buchanan and Ted Deutch earlier this year. It prohibits intentional acts of crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling, or otherwise subjecting animals to bodily harm. Those convicted will now face federal felony charges, fines, and up to seven years in prison.
“For many Americans, their pets are a part of their family,” Buchanan said. “That’s been true in my home and that’s why the signing of this bill today is such an important milestone.”
The legislation passed unanimously in the U.S. House in late October and in the Senate days later, again unanimously. President Trump signed the act into law during a ceremony in the Oval Office, surrounded by representatives from animal welfare organizations.
Previously, federal law was limited to a prohibition on animal fighting, and only criminalized the creation and distribution of video showing animal fighting.