A bill that makes animal cruelty a federal felony was unanimously passed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.
The bipartisan Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, which was introduced by Reps. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., would outlaw a form of animal abuse known as “crushing,” where people maim and torture animals.
Burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling and other forms of torture would also be banned.
In 2010, Congress passed the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which made the creation and distribution of animal crushing videos illegal, according to a news release from Deutch’s office. The office added that the underlying acts of cruelty against animals were not included.
Deutch said The PACT Act closes the loophole by banning certain cases of animal abuse.
"Today’s vote is a significant milestone in the bipartisan quest to end animal abuse and protect our pets,” Deutch said. “This bill sends a clear message that our society does not accept cruelty against animals.”
He added, “I’m deeply thankful for all of the advocates who helped us pass this bill, and I look forward to the Senate’s swift passage and the president’s signature.”
Deutch also tweeted on Tuesday that the legislation “is a major step to end animal abuse and protect our pets.”