(1/28/19) Two Florida congressmen are pushing a bipartisan bill that would make animal cruelty and bestiality a felony under federal law, according to a report by the Orlando Sentinel.
Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch and Republican Vern Buchanan co-sponsored the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, which addresses “crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling” and sexual exploitation of animals. Those convicted of the crime could face up to seven years in prison.
The bill’s passage would close a loophole in a 2010 law, which implemented federal punishment only for abuse caught on camera.
The United States Senate has passed the PACT Act twice before. The bill earned widespread bipartisan support in Congress, as well as the endorsement of a number of law enforcement agencies. However, the measure was blocked from coming to the floor by former Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a republican from Virginia. Goodlatte is no longer in Congress.