The PACT Act: The House passes a bill that makes animal cruelty a felony


Chloe Ippolito, Staff reporter

The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT Act) was approved by the house on October 22. This makes heinous acts of cruelty such as crushing, drowning, suffocating, impaling, burning, and sexually abusing animals a federal offense. 

This bill was proposed by Florida congressmen Ted Deutch and Vern Buchanan. The house unanimously voted to approve this bill and it will now be sent to the senate, for a Senate vote. 

“Laws protecting animals were too lenient in the past,” Jackie Ippolito, an avid supporter of the bill says, “Hopefully making animal abuse and torture a felony will deter people from committing these acts.”

The PACT Act builds on the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act which went into effect in 2010. This law made the creation and distribution of animal crushing videos illegal. 

Currently, Animal Protection laws only specifically state that animal fighting and sharing videos displaying abuse are federal offenses. 

The PACT Act is a large advancement in animal protection because prosecutors will not have to go around state jurisdiction.

 There has been overwhelming support for this newly approved bill from the Orchard Park community. Henry Kamis, a junior, says, “Animal cruelty should never be tolerated, and all animals deserve a life, too. People who harm animals for any reason should be punished and called felons.”

Convictions of these crimes would result in federal felony charges, fines and up to seven years in prison.

Abbey Black expresses her support for the more severe punishments proposed by the bill. “I think that people who do hurt animals severely should go to jail and face serious consequences.”

There are exceptions to the legislation for hunting and necessary acts needed to protect the life of a person.

Sources credited:

    Johnson, Lauren M. “The House Passes a Bill That Makes Animal Cruelty a Federal Felony.” CNN, Cable News Network, 23 Oct. 2019,
  Knowles, Hannah. “Most Animal Cruelty Isn’t a Federal Crime. The House Just Passed a Bill to Change That.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 24 Oct. 2019,
  O’Kane, Caitlin. “House Passes Bill That Would Make Animal Cruelty a Federal Felony.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 23 Oct. 2019,
 Zarrell, Matt. “House Passes Bill Making Animal Cruelty a Federal Felony.” ABC News, ABC News Network, 23 Oct. 2019,