Trump signs bill making animal cruelty a federal crime

Trump signs bill making animal cruelty a federal crime

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSessions accepts 'Fox News Sunday' invitation to debate, Tuberville declines Priest among those police cleared from St. John's Church patio for Trump visit Trump criticizes CNN on split-screen audio of Rose Garden address, protesters clashing with police MORE signed a bill into law Monday establishing animal cruelty as a federal crime after the measure passed with bipartisan support through Congress.

A statement from the White House press office Monday evening announced that the president had signed the bill, which specifically codifies "animal crushing" as a federal offense punishable by a fine and up to seven years in prison.

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The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act defines the term as any conduct in which an animal "is purposely crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury."

"We have a responsibility to honor the dignity of God’s creation," Trump said Monday. "With today’s act, we take the critical step toward being more responsible and humane stewards of our planet and all who we want to cherish and take care of, and all of those who live on it."

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump praises 'domination' of DC protesters Pelosi, Schumer say treatment of protesters outside White House 'dishonors every value that faith teaches us' Democrats call for Congress to take action following death of George Floyd MORE (D-Calif.) was a vocal supporter of the bill as it passed through the House, tweeting in support of the measure after passed the Senate with similar bipartisan support.

"Today, I was honored to sign @RepTedDeutch’s #PACTAct to make animal cruelty a federal offense," she tweeted earlier in November. "Our furry friends, Milo and Prudence, were on hand to help me enroll this bipartisan legislation that will now go to the President’s desk!"

Animal Wellness Action, one of the groups involved in the bill's passage, issued a statement praising lawmakers after the law was signed on Monday.

“We’re thrilled to see the first anti-cruelty statute in American history signed into law and applaud President Trump and the Congress for providing the voiceless with a level of protection never seen before,” said Marty Irby, the group's executive director. “The PACT Act will allow federal authorities to crack down on the most egregious of animal abusers and help keep American pets safe from harm.”

The White House also said Monday that Trump had signed into a law an act requiring the Treasury Department to mint coins in honor of the women's suffrage movement, which won the right to vote for women in the U.S.

Updated at 11:15 a.m. on 11/26