Senate sends bill making animal cruelty a federal felony to Trump's desk

Senate sends bill making animal cruelty a federal felony to Trump's desk
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The Senate on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill making cruelty to animals a federal felony in some cases, sending it to President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE’s desk.

The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act expands on the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which banned creating and distributing “crush videos” of animals. The 2010 bill did not ban the acts themselves, which the PACT Act covers, according to ABC News.

Sens. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyNSA improperly collected US phone records in October, new documents show Overnight Defense: Pick for South Korean envoy splits with Trump on nuclear threat | McCain blasts move to suspend Korean military exercises | White House defends Trump salute of North Korean general WH backpedals on Trump's 'due process' remark on guns MORE (R-Pa.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), co-sponsors of the legislation, weighed in on what they have deemed a bipartisan victory. 

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"Passing this legislation is a major victory in the effort to stop animal cruelty and make our communities safer," Toomey said in a statement, according to ABC News.

“Evidence shows that the deranged individuals who harm animals often move on to committing acts of violence against people. It is appropriate that the federal government have strong animal cruelty laws and penalties,” he added.

"Senator Toomey and I have spent years working to hold the barbaric individuals who commit these crimes accountable, and I'm glad that Congress is now finally sending our bill to the president's desk to be signed into law,” said Blumenthal.

The bill specifically makes it unlawful for "any person to intentionally engage in animal crushing of the animals or animal crushing is in, substantially affects, or uses a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce.” The House version, which also passed unanimously, cleared the lower chamber in late October.

The White House declined comment to The Hill on whether Trump plans to sign the bill