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Source: istock

Bill making animal cruelty a felony nationwide passes in the House

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In January, lawmakers introduced the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT). And this week, nine months later, the U.S. House of Representatives finally approved the bi-partisan bill — unanimously. This move makes various kinds of animal cruelty one (very big) step closer to becoming a federal felony, with a punishment of up to seven years behind bars, The New York Times reported. 

The PACT Act, which is available in full on the Congress website, would make it illegal across the country to engage in "animal crushing," which is when any "living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is purposely crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury." The bill would also make creating and distributing animal crush photos or videos illegal.