Animal cruelty act gaining steam in Congress

Animal cruelty act gaining steam in Congress
(Source: WBRC Staff)

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - In the United States, all 50 states have laws against animal cruelty. But the loophole is what happens when it comes to enforcing the law when animals cross state lines.

“They are going across state lines and you are involving people who break a crime across state lines. The same is true for torture and some other acts we see go on,” said Alison Black Cornelius, CEO of the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.

The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or as it’s called the PACT Act, is aimed at protecting animals. It covers dog fighting, crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, and impaling animals as well as sexually exploiting them.

Cornelius with GBHS said there are high hopes for passage this year over past failures. “We are super excited because the individual stalling it has retired, so we think it has momentum this year,” she said.

In the Alabama state legislature, bills regulating puppy mills and other animal cruelty acts have come up short.

State representative Juandalynn Givan of Birmingham believes the action in Congress will motivate state lawmakers. “Republicans and Democrats would ban, join together to pass a comprehensive animal cruelty act piece of legislation. I would definitely support it,” said Givan.

Cornelius said state laws need to pass to close some loopholes for enforcement. The state veterinary society is working on a compromise bill for the next session of the Alabama legislature.

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