The House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bipartisan bill that would make animal cruelty a federal felony.
On Tuesday, the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act was approved by the House and will serve as a revision to an existing law that was passed in 2010.
Under previous regulations, federal law prohibited only animal fighting and the production and distribution of videos featuring animal cruelty, rather than acts of cruelty in and of themselves. However, the new restrictions will make it easier to prosecute those engaged in acts of animal cruelty outside of fighting practices.
“Over the course of 30 years in animal protection, I have encountered terrible animal cruelties, but acts of intentional torture are the most disturbing because they demonstrate how some people treat the most vulnerable in our society,” Humane Society Legislative Fund President Sara Amundson said in a statement.