Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement after a bill she cosponsored, the bipartisan Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, passed the Senate last night. The PACT Act seeks to outlaw a heinous deadly form of animal maiming and torture known as “crushing.” It is the first-ever federal law to grant all animals federal protections against cruelty and abuse.
“Any form of abuse against animals must be punishable by law, and I am pleased the Senate has taken concrete steps to address this issue at the federal level,” said Cortez Masto. “We have a responsibility to protect animals from senseless acts of cruelty. Barbaric practices such us maiming and crushing has no place in a civilized society.”
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 was unable to protect animals from abuse or even arrest known abusers. Under the PACT Act, individuals found guilty of torturing animals would face felony charges, fines, and up to seven years in prison.