A bill that would make malicious animal cruelty a federal felony was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday.
Lawmakers said it would be a major step in the fight to end animal abuse.
In 2010, The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act otherwise known as the (PACT) criminalized the creation and distribution of animal abuse videos. It did not make any mention of violence towards animals itself. This new bill closes that loophole.
Animal welfare advocates say this could help make sure animal abusers are punished accordingly.
The law wouldn’t interfere with local legislation against animal cruelty. The bill will now have to pass the Senate before making it’s way to the President’s desk.