Congress Making the World a Better Place

I fully support strengthening laws aimed at preventing cruelty toward animals, and I applaud the Senate for passing this. I assume the president will sign? Every once in a while politicians do some good for the world.

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Amazing it took this long, but I’m glad to see it.

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“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

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Is that an enumerated power Congress has?

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Indeed. For those who don’t know, that’s a Gandhi quote.

Maybe we’ll find out if the animal-crushing lobby gets involved.

This is very good news, and I’m confident the president will sign it.

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Not if finds out Obama likes the bill…

Yeah. I have the same problem. Congress can’t pass a law that makes flat out murdering a person illegal, and now this?
Of course those acts should be illegal. Every state should and hopefully does have a law against that sort of action.
But because we want it illegal doesn’t grant the authority to make it illegal in the Constitution, any more than my declaring it illegal would have an effect…because I was not granted that authority under the constitution.
If somehow this is legal in your state, raise it as an issue.

Murdering someone is already illegal in every state. This bill covers issues “affecting interstate or foreign commerce” and as such is well within Congress’s purview.

Also: “Law enforcement agencies across the country, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Animal Wellness National Law Enforcement Council, have endorsed the PACT Act because of the well-documented connection between animal cruelty and violence against people.”

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/u-senate-passes-federal-anti-152945808.html

As written the Act is both Constitutional and of relatively limited practical effect. Most States have already outlawed animal crushing and animal crush videos.

The text below is of the engrossed bill as passed by the House of Representatives, however, it was passed in identical form by the Senate, so it is the final version of the legislation.

AN ACT

To revise section 48 of title 18, United States Code, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act” or the “PACT Act”.

SEC. 2. REVISION OF SECTION 48.

(a) In General.—Section 48 of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

Ҥ 48. Animal crushing

“(a) Offenses.—

“(1) CRUSHING.—It shall be unlawful for any person to purposely engage in animal crushing in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

“(2) CREATION OF ANIMAL CRUSH VIDEOS.—It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly create an animal crush video, if—

“(A) the person intends or has reason to know that the animal crush video will be distributed in, or using a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce; or

“(B) the animal crush video is distributed in, or using a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce.

“(3) DISTRIBUTION OF ANIMAL CRUSH VIDEOS.—It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, market, advertise, exchange, or distribute an animal crush video in, or using a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce.

“(b) Extraterritorial Application.—This section applies to the knowing sale, marketing, advertising, exchange, distribution, or creation of an animal crush video outside of the United States, if—

“(1) the person engaging in such conduct intends or has reason to know that the animal crush video will be transported into the United States or its territories or possessions; or

“(2) the animal crush video is transported into the United States or its territories or possessions.

“© Penalties.—Whoever violates this section shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 7 years, or both.

“(d) Exceptions.—

“(1) IN GENERAL.—This section does not apply with regard to any conduct, or a visual depiction of that conduct, that is—

“(A) a customary and normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry, or other animal management practice;

“(B) the slaughter of animals for food;

“© hunting, trapping, fishing, a sporting activity not otherwise prohibited by Federal law, predator control, or pest control;

“(D) medical or scientific research;

“(E) necessary to protect the life or property of a person; or

“(F) performed as part of euthanizing an animal.

“(2) GOOD-FAITH DISTRIBUTION.—This section does not apply to the good-faith distribution of an animal crush video to—

“(A) a law enforcement agency; or

“(B) a third party for the sole purpose of analysis to determine if referral to a law enforcement agency is appropriate.

“(3) UNINTENTIONAL CONDUCT.—This section does not apply to unintentional conduct that injures or kills an animal.

“(4) CONSISTENCY WITH RFRA.—This section shall be enforced in a manner that is consistent with section 3 of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb–1).

“(e) No Preemption.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to preempt the law of any State or local subdivision thereof to protect animals.

“(f) Definitions.—In this section—

“(1) the term ‘animal crushing’ means actual conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is purposely crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365 and including conduct that, if committed against a person and in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, would violate section 2241 or 2242);

“(2) the term ‘animal crush video’ means any photograph, motion-picture film, video or digital recording, or electronic image that—

“(A) depicts animal crushing; and

“(B) is obscene; and

“(3) the term ‘euthanizing an animal’ means the humane destruction of an animal accomplished by a method that—

“(A) produces rapid unconsciousness and subsequent death without evidence of pain or distress; or

“(B) uses anesthesia produced by an agent that causes painless loss of consciousness and subsequent death.”.

(b) Technical And Conforming Amendment.—The table of sections for chapter 3 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking the item relating to section 48 and inserting the following:

“48. Animal crushing.”.

SEC. 3. DETERMINATION OF BUDGETARY EFFECTS.

The budgetary effects of this Act, and the amendments made by this Act, for the purpose of complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall be determined by reference to the latest statement titled “Budgetary Effects of PAYGO Legislation” for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, provided that such statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.

Passed the House of Representatives October 22, 2019.

Attest: cheryl l. johnson,
Clerk.

Now I agree with this

A bill which would make nearly all forms of animal cruelty a federal felony offense looks set to be passed into law after it was unanimously approved by the Senate.

The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act was introduced by Republican Congressman Vern Buchanan and Democrat Ted Deutch after it was passed by the House of Representatives on October 22.

The bill aims to close a loophole which existed following the introduction of the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which banned so-called “crush videos.”

Now I agree 100 percent animal crushing…never heard of it till now is cruel and should be outlaw. My fear is that will change to having animals in pens/stall etc will become crudity.

You all know it’s not going to end just where they claim it as…it’s only a matter of time they will use this to shut down production farms.

From the Newsweek article in the OP:

The bill aims to close a loophole which existed following the introduction of the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which banned so-called “crush videos.”

The law made it illegal to create or distribute such a video but the “crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling or other animal cruelty” could not be prosecuted as a federal crime.

There is widespread public support to ban acts such as crushing, much less so for banning pens and stalls on large farms. I don’t think we should avoid laws like this out of fear of a slippery slope that probably doesn’t exist.

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No, it isn’t. At least not for places under the jurisdiction of any State.

Now let me start by saying animal cruelty should be aginast the law in every state.

You say the bill covers issues affecting interstate or foriegn commerce.

If it’s not video’s and sent across state lines. Nor did the person or animal cross state lines for the specific purpose of “crushing”, how does it affect interstate or foriegn commerce?

I would assume that it doesn’t. Were you hoping this bill addressed all forms of animal abuse in all places and instances? It doesn’t do that.

Also, something that isn’t factually commerce among the several states shouldn’t be under federal jurisdiction at all. No delegated power to regulate what affects interstate commerce but isn’t interstate commerce.

This is absolutely whataboutism, but …

Here is completely reasonable discussion about whether a Federal law banning the crushing of animals for entertainment purposes can be passed, because the power to do so is not enumerated in the Constitution …

But the process of impeachment, well defined in the Constitution, is being condemned and obstructed because it’s “politically-motivated” and “unfair”. Show me those defenses in the Constitution please.

Isn’t selling animal crushing videos across state lines interstate commerce?