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New bill would make animal cruelty a federal felony

Conviction could lead to as many as 7 years in prison

File photo.
File photo. (chahad/SXC)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Animal cruelty and bestiality could become a felony nationwide under a bill introduced by two Florida congressmen.

The Orlando Sentinel reported the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act introduced by Reps. Ted Deutch, D-West Boca, and Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, would target "crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling animals."

A conviction could lead to as many as seven years in prison.

The Sentinel reported that the Humane Society of the United States applauded the move and said it would close a loophole in the 2010 law, which only applied when a video was being produced.

“The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” Buchanan told the Sentinel.

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