House and Senate pass bill making animal cruelty a federal crime

Animal Cruelty Prevention act passed

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) -

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill on November 5th that makes animal cruelty a federal crime.

The bill’s on the President’s desk waiting to be signed or not.

“The torture, the mutilating of live animals, the burning of these lives animals, yeah that’s definitely a horrible crime,” said Ty Metzger, Patrolman and Nuisance Abatement Supervisor with the Cape Girardeau Police Department.

One main spot Metzger finds issues, behind homes in alleys, especially now that the temperature is dropping.

“Sometimes it’s usually later in the winter when the leaves are off the trees when people discover hey there’s a dog back here near the alley that has no dog house, no shelter, food water, the basic requirements," he said.

According to Metzger, the main way people abuse animals in the area is by neglect, but he remembers a period of time when dog fights were a problem too.

“A lot of these people that do these horrible, ritualistic or torture or whatever it is that’s of that nature to these animals, a lot of times that next step could be people that may be harmed,” said Metzger.

The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act or “PACT Act” makes burning, crushing, impaling, and other forms of serious bodily injury to animals a federal crime. Also, it punishes those involved in selling or making videos that show those acts of torture. The penalty’s a fine, up to seven years in jail or both.

“What are they willing to do next, if they are finding enjoyment in seeing an animal suffer in that type of pain. what is next? Either way it needs to be stopped," said Metzger.

There are exceptions to the PACT Act:

  • a customary and normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry, or other animal management practice
  • the slaughter of animals for food
  • hunting, trapping, fishing, a sporting activity not otherwise prohibited by Federal law, predator control, or pest control
  • medical or scientific research
  • necessary to protect the life or property of a person
  • performed as part of euthanizing an animal.

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