New law now makes animal cruelty a felony

The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or PACT ACT, originally outlawed videos of animal cruelty, but now includes the acts of cruelty.

New law now makes animal cruelty a felony
The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or PACT ACT, originally outlawed videos of animal cruelty, but now includes the acts of cruelty. (Source: Photo WLOX)

GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - House Resolution 724, now a law, makes the act of animal cruelty a felony. President Donald Trump signed the bill last week expanding on legislation from 2010.

The original law made the creation and/or distribution of animal crushing videos illegal; it did make the act itself illegal. In the new bill, “animal crushing” is defined as conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians is purposely crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury.

The law does not apply the following:

a customary and normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry, or other animal management practice
the slaughter of animals for food
hunting, trapping, fishing, a sporting activity not otherwise prohibited by Federal law, predator control, or pest control
medical or scientific research
necessary to protect the life or property of a person
performed as part of euthanizing an animal

Local animal shelter officials are elated that action is being taken.

“We do see a lot of cases come in, unfortunately, neglected and cruelty cases throughout the year. So this is first step. We’re in full support of this law going into effect and we’re very excited. We’re celebrating it here at the shelter. We’re hoping this will enforce our local municipalities’ laws just to see a huge reduction of these cases coming into the shelter," said Humane Society of South Mississippi Development Manager Katie King.

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