Why Supporting the PACT Act is important!
Help support the Prevent Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act...
this is a new bill in both House, H.R. 1494, and Senate, S. 6554, that will amends the federal criminal code, 18 U.S.C. §48 to revise and expand provisions involving animal crushing and crush videos. The bill also adds a new provision to criminalize an intentional act of animal crushing. A violator is subject to criminal penalties—a fine, a prison term of up to seven years, or both.
Animal crushing is when a usually a woman, however can be a man, wearing high heels or with their bare feet slowly crushing animals to death while sometimes “talking to the animals in a kind of dominatrix patter” over “[t]he cries and squeals of the animals, obviously in great pain.” Generally, appeals to people with a very specific sexual fetish who find them sexually arousing and exciting. (United States v. Stevens, 559 U.S. 460 (2010). In 1999 Congress enacted 18 USC §48, to prohibit to creating, distribution, selling, and owning of animal crush videos. However, in 2010 in United States v. Stevens, the defendant challenged his conviction under the statute all the way up to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Supreme Court held that the statute was over-broad and vague as the statute is not narrowly tailored to specific videos that would not actually be identified as crush videos as to meet strict scrutiny. Under strict scrutiny the law is upheld if the law is necessary to achieve a compelling governmental purpose. For a law not to be invalid because it is over-broad, the law must not punish a substantial amount of protected speech in relation to its plain legitimate sweep. For a law not to be invalid because it is vague, the law cannot fail to give people reasonable notice of prohibited conduct.
After the Supreme Court's ruling in United States v. Stevens, Congress amended the statute to meet the standards that Supreme Court stated in their Opinion. It was not until 2014 in United States v. Richards that the law was challenged again. However, in this case the Court upheld the law stating that the Law meet all requirements of the strict scrutiny test.
What is important to note that it also helps animal sexual assault victims, found in section (f) definitions subsection (1) which states in part: "... 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);..." While it is true the language could be clearer that it includes sexual assault of an animal. This is a step in the right direction. This is first federal law that could help animal sexual assault victims.
Currently, H.R.1494, sponsored by Rep. Smith, Lamar [R-TX-21], has a total of 250 sponsors. The follow Congressmen and Congresswomen have become sponsors of the bill on Oct. 24, 2017: Rep. Fudge, Marcia L. [D-OH-11]; Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI-2]; Rep. Tipton, Scott R. [R-CO-3]; Rep. Brown, Anthony G. [D-MD-4]; Rep. Panetta, Jimmy [D-CA-20]Rep. Jackson Lee, Sheila [D-TX-18]; Rep. Conyers, John, Jr. [D-MI-13].
Additionally, S.654, which is identical to H.R. 1494, has a total of 27 sponsors. S. 654 was originally sponsored by Sen. Toomey, Pat [R-PA]. Both bills are still in the committee stage. To follow the journey of bill H.R. 1494, click here and to follow the journey of bill S. 654, click here
Please take the time to call your Congressman or Congresswoman to tell them to support this bill if they are not on the sponsor list of either bill or call them to thank them for supporting this bill. Either way, let them know that this bill is important to you. To find your federal Senators and Representatives, please follow this