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Florida Congressmen Propose Bill That Would Make Animal Cruelty A Felony Nationwide

MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Two Florida congressman have introduced a bill that would make animal cruelty a felony nationwide.

The Orlando Sentinel reports Rep. Ted Deutch, whose district represents parts of Palm Beach and Broward Counties, is one of the main sponsors of the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or PACT, along with Rep. Vern Buchanan of Sarasota.

The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, would make, "crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling animals" a nationwide felony. It also addresses bestiality and efforts to sexually exploit animals.

A person convicted under the law could spend up to seven years in prison.

"This is commonsense, bipartisan legislation to bring some compassion to our animal laws," Rep. Deutch said. "For many Americans, animal welfare is an important policy issue, and the idea of animal abuse is abhorrent."

The Humane Society of the United States also applauded the bill, and said it would close a loophole in the 2010 law, which only applies to when a video was being made.

The bill does reportedly contain exceptions for normal veterinary care, hunting, and conduct necessary to protect life of property from a serious animal threat.

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