May 26, 2017

Cortez Masto Cosponsors Bipartisan Bill Banning Egregious Form of Animal Abuse

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) has cosponsored the bipartisan Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, which was introduced by U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). The PACT Act seeks to outlaw a heinous deadly form of animal maiming and torture known as “crushing.” If enacted, the PACT Act would be the first-ever federal law to grant all animals federal protections against cruelty and abuse.

Despite taking steps in 2010 to ban the sale of videos depicting animal crushing, Congress did not make the underlying act of crushing a federal crime. This means that—even when there is overwhelming evidence that torture is taking place—federal law enforcement is currently unable to protect animals from abuse or even arrest known abusers. The Senate passed the bipartisan PACT Act unanimously in the last session of Congress.

“As members of a civilized society, we are responsible for ensuring that animals do not suffer senseless acts of cruelty,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “It is alarming that acts of torture against animals, such as ‘crushing,’ are not already punishable by U.S. federal law, and it must be corrected. I am proud to cosponsor this legislation in hopes of putting an end to these barbaric practices and punishing those who insist on this unacceptable behavior.”

Individuals found guilty of torturing animals would face felony charges, fines, and up to seven years in prison.

The PACT Act is endorsed by the Humane Society of the United States, National Sheriffs' Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Major County Sheriffs' Association, Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, and the Major Cities Chiefs Association.