Press release: Alley Cat Allies
Alley Cat Allies is a global advocacy organization that works to protect and improve the lives of cats. It is seen around the world as a champion for the humane treatment of all cats. Its president and founder, Becky Robinson, is praising passage of the federal Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, which closes a loophole in federal law and makes crushing, burning and other acts of animal cruelty federal felonies. The President signed the PACT Act into law.
“Cats and all animals deserve the chance to live their lives free from these depraved and abusive acts,” Robinson said. “There is a documented link between violence toward animals and violence toward people, which is why laws such as the PACT Act are so critical for our society. Furthermore, it’s just as important for law enforcement to take these animal cruelty laws seriously and for the criminal justice system to punish violators, because good laws alone are not enough without prosecution.”
An earlier law, the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, PL 111-294, made it a crime to create or distribute a video that depicts cats or other animals being “intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury,” if done using interstate commerce. However, although the law prohibited creation of videos about those acts, it did not prohibit the acts themselves.
The PACT Act finally strengthens the law by also making acts of cruelty or torture federal felonies if done through interstate commerce. The law applies to actions that take place on federal property as well. It does not interfere with local animal cruelty laws.
“We’re thrilled to see the first anti-cruelty statute in American history signed into law and applaud President Trump and the Congress for providing the voiceless with a level of protection never seen before,” said Marty Irby, executive director at Animal Wellness Action. “The PACT Act will allow federal authorities to crack down on the most egregious of animal abusers and help keep American pets safe from harm.”
Mike Bober, president and CEO of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC), was among the members of the pet industry who lauded the PACT Act: “The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and the responsible pet care community applaud the steps taken by the PACT Act (Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture) to expand the scope of animal cruelty crimes covered under federal law. We commend Congress and President Trump for the powerful message it sends that our compassionate society will not tolerate the torture of animals. With almost two-thirds of households having a pet, pet ownership is an integral and important part of American life. The rewards of the human-animal bond are exceptional, including scientifically-proven human emotional and physical health benefits. This new law brings additional legal authority to our country’s responsibility to protect and ensure the kind and respectful treatment of the animals in our care who bring so much value to our lives.”