WASHINGTON, DC (Agencies)-Animal cruelty would become a federal offense with a penalty of up to seven years in prison under a proposed expansion of an animal welfare law that won unanimous approval this week in the House of Representatives.
The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act advanced through the House on Tuesday October 22nd, after a voice vote, which the law’s backers said they hoped would get the Senate to act soon on a companion bill.
“This bill sends a clear message that our society does not accept cruelty against animals,” Mr. Deutch, a Democrat, said in a statement. “We’ve received support from so many Americans from across the country and across the political spectrum.”
Mr. Buchanan, a Republican, said in a statement that the bill’s prospects of becoming law were favorable.
“This is a landmark bill that establishes for the first time a federal offense against the malicious torturing of animals,” Mr. Buchanan said.
He added, “We are optimistic it will pass the Senate, which has already supported the bill in two previous sessions of Congress.”
Kitty Block, the chief executive of the Humane Society, and Sara Amundson, president of the organization’s legislative fund, said in a post on the legislative fund’s blog that getting final approval for the bill was critical.
“We know by now that animal cruelty is an indicator of social pathology and those who commit crimes against humans often start out by hurting animals,” the post said. “It is a pattern of violence that is both common and well-documented, and it adds to the urgency of passing this common sense law.”
San Miguel Times