Animal cruelty could become a federal felony if President Trump signs a bill headed for his desk. The Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan bill Tuesday making certain types of animal cruelty a federal crime. "Current federal law prohibits animal fighting and only criminalizes animal cruelty if the wrongdoers create and sell videos depicting the act," notes CNN. The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, an expansion of 2010's Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, would make it a federal offense for any person to crush, burn, drown, suffocate, impale, or sexually exploit an animal in relation to interstate commerce or on federal property, per CNN and ABC News.
"We've made the case for this measure for many years, and view it as one of the largest victories for animals in a long time," says Humane Society CEO Kitty Block. "There is no place in a civilized society for maiming and torturing animals—period," says Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who sponsored the bill with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. Toomey says it's "appropriate that the federal government have strong animal cruelty laws and penalties," as "evidence shows that the deranged individuals who harm animals often move on to committing acts of violence against people." The bill, which unanimously passed the House on Oct. 22, now awaits Trump's signature. (Read more animal cruelty stories.)