WASHINGTON – Congressman Tom Reed is touting the passage of a new animal cruelty act that aims to crack down on viscous crimes against animals in the United States.
Reed says the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, passed by the House of Representatives, would make some of the most egregious forms of animal cruelty, specifically crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling, or sexual exploitation, a federal crime.
“My dogs – Babbs, Trooper and Jovie – are part of the family,” said Reed. “I can’t imagine the anger I would have if someone abused these loving animals, and escaped prosecution because the act occurred outside of New York State jurisdiction.”
Current federal law prohibits the creation and distribution of “crush videos,” but does not cover the underlying acts of animal abuse, the Congressman said.
The new act extends federal jurisdiction to those specific acts of animal abuse, thereby closing the loophole. Even though animal fighting and the distribution of so-called “crush videos” are illegal under federal law, the vast majority of animal cruelty laws are at the state level, Reed explained.
The congressman praised his collogues in the Problem Solvers Caucus for their work in creating and promoting the legislation.
“This is a commonsense bill to protect the animals we care so much about,” Reed furthered. “I am glad the Problem Solvers Caucus is able to utilize the new House rules we implemented last January to push this bipartisan legislation across the finish line.”
The initiative received priority consideration on the House floor by having more than 290 bipartisan cosponsors. The bill had 301 bipartisan co-sponsors when it reached the floor.