Following Brindisi push, President Trump signs Brindisi-sponsored PACT Act into law

Rep. Anthony Brindisi

Congressman Champions Animal Welfare and Delivers Results for Animal Lovers

Following a push by Congressman Anthony Brindisi to get his bill through Congress, President Donald Trump signed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act of 2019. Brindisi, a leader in the fight against animal abuse, was a cosponsor of the measure. This legislation creates a federal animal cruelty statute prohibiting the most heinous acts of abuse which can occur beyond the reach of state cruelty laws.

“I am glad to see President Trump signed legislation I cosponsored to help crack down on animal abuse,” Brindisi said. “Working with Democrats and Republicans, we can bring an end to the horrific acts outlawed by this legislation. As a parent of a rescue dog myself, I know how important animals are to families and we need to give law enforcement the tools they need to hold abusers accountable.”

H.R. 724 makes a federal crime some of the most egregious forms of animal cruelty (specifically crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling, or sexual exploitation) cases where state laws do not apply. Previously, federal law prohibiting the creation and distribution of “crush videos” did not cover the underlying acts of animal abuse. The PACT Act extends federal jurisdiction to these specific and unspeakable acts of animal abuse, thereby closing the loophole. Though animal fighting and the distribution of so-called “crush videos” are illegal under federal law, the vast majority of animal cruelty laws are at the state level.

Earlier this year, Brindisi joined Broome and Oneida County law enforcement, community leaders, and activists to demand action on this important legislation. Those leaders praised Brindisi’s efforts.

“My administration has continued to put the protection and treatment of animals front and center,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente. “We have contracted with the CNYSPCA for animal abuse investigations, created an animal abuser registry and are devising regulations that will ensure animal rescues are safe and humane. I thank Congressman Brindisi for working to pass critical federal legislation that will further ensure the proper treatment of animals and prevent animal abuse in Oneida County, and I thank President Trump for signing the PACT Act into law.”

“Congressman Brindisi’s unwavering support of animal welfare is inspiring, said Stevens Swan Humane Society Executive Director Diane Broccoli. “We are thrilled that The PACT Act has been signed into law. This will have a great impact protecting the animals in our community as well as around the country.”

“We at the Broome County Humane Society appreciate Congressman Brindisi being an advocate for animals in Washington and helping get this bi-partisan bill done,” said Karen Matson, Broome County Humane Society. “This bill is another strong step in protecting the animals in need, and we are so glad it was finally signed into law.”

“As a law enforcement officer, I appreciate Congressman Brindisi’s desire to root out animal cruelty and give law enforcement the tools we need to succeed,” said Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol.

“With this bill being signed into law, Congressman Brindisi’s work to protect animals in Broome County and across the country is greatly appreciated,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar.

Brindisi is a cosponsor of other animal welfare bills as well. In addition to the PACT Act, Brindisi is a cosponsor of the Puppy Protection Act (H.R. 2442) to set new requirements on commercial breeders. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates federally licensed commercial dog breeders that sell dogs wholesale to retail pet stores and commercial brokers, or directly to consumers over the Internet under the Animal Welfare Act. While the Animal Welfare Act is meant to ensure dogs in federally licensed facilities are treated humanely, the current regulations fall far short.

The Puppy Protection Act would ensure dealers are treating dogs humanely and includes requirements on cage size, human socialization, veterinary care, and outdoor activity. The Puppy Protection Act will not impact family pets, livestock, or hobbyist breeders.

Earlier this year, Brindisi worked with Democrats and Republicans to pass the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act in the House. Soring is the practice of inflicting pain on horses in order to artificially alter their gait and gain unfair competitive advantage at horse shows. Even though it’s been illegal for nearly 50 years, it’s still widely practiced. Brindisi cosponsored the bill in the House.

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