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Senate unanimously passes bill making animal cruelty a federal felony

A puppy in its kennel at the Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk after a trip of nearly 1,200 miles from Georgia.
A puppy in its kennel at the Animal Welfare Society in Kennebunk after a trip of nearly 1,200 miles from Georgia. Photo: Brianna Soukup/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

The Senate unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would expand a law to make animal cruelty a federal felony, for which people could face fines and up to seven years in prison.

The big picture: The “Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act,” or "PACT," builds on a law that previously only criminalized animal cruelty if those at fault made and sold videos of the act. If President Trump signs the bill, which has already been passed by the House, authorities will be able to prosecute people for crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling, or sexually exploiting animals.

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