Bill would make animal cruelty a federal felony

Two Florida congressmen re-introduced a bill that would make animal cruelty a felony under federal law.

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Rep. Ted Deutch, D-West Boca, and Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, brought back the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture bill last week.

"We will get this done," Deutch tweeted. "It's bipartisan, common-sense policy that will protect our animals."

The bill, which was previously introduced last year, would make "crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling animals," including sexual exploitation of animals and bestiality, a felony nationwide.

Those found guilty under the law would spend up to seven years in prison.

"The torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law," Buchanan tweeted.

The Humane Society of the United States praised the bill, saying it would close a loophole to a 2010 animal cruelty law. That law only applies to when a video was being produced.

The bill contains exceptions for veterinary care, hunting, and conduct needed to protect life or property from serious threat caused by an animal.

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