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Animal Cruelty is Officially a Federal Crime

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President Donald Trump signed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT Act) on November 25, 2019, which makes it a federal crime to be cruel to animals. A conviction will result in a federal prison sentence of up to seven years and/or a costly fine.

The following intentional acts against living non-human mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds are banned under the PACT Act:

  • Crushing
  • Burning
  • Drowning
  • Impaling
  • Suffocating
  • Inflicting serious harm

Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL) introduced the bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives before it was pushed through the Senate by Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Patrick Toomey (R-PA). The PACT Act expands the Animal Crust Video Prohibition Act of 2010, which prohibited the publication, sale, and ownership of “animal crush videos” that are films featuring people fatally crushing or trampling smaller animals.

As of right now, every state in the country has enacted state animal cruelty laws. In Ohio, knowingly harming a pet by depriving it of food, water, or shelter, or inflicting pain is a fifth-degree felony, which leads to a maximum 12-month jail sentence and/or a fine no more than $2,500, upon conviction.

However, animal rights advocates urged federal lawmakers to enact a federal law regarding animal cruelty. The main reason is that prosecuting animal cruelty cases that involve multiple jurisdictions and states is difficult.

If you have been accused of committing a federal crime in Ohio, contact Patituce & Associates today at (440) 471-7784 and request a free consultation to discuss your case.