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H.R. 724: PACT Act

The text of the bill below is as of Jan 23, 2019 (Introduced).


I

116th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 724

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

January 23, 2019

(for himself, Mr. Buchanan, Mr. Nadler, Mr. Aguilar, Ms. Barragán, Mr. Blumenauer, Ms. Blunt Rochester, Ms. Brownley of California, Mr. Beyer, Mr. Chabot, Mr. Cartwright, Mr. Clay, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Crist, Mr. Calvert, Mr. Budd, Ms. DeLauro, Mrs. Demings, Mr. Swalwell of California, Ms. Eshoo, Mr. Cicilline, Mr. Foster, Mr. Fitzpatrick, Mr. Garamendi, Mr. Grijalva, Ms. Jackson Lee, Mr. Engel, Ms. Jayapal, Mr. Jones, Mr. Gonzalez of Texas, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. Lipinski, Ms. McCollum, Mrs. Murphy, Mr. Higgins of New York, Mr. Mast, Mr. Espaillat, Mr. O'Halleran, Mr. Meadows, Ms. Norton, Mr. Payne, Mr. Moulton, Ms. Meng, Mr. Krishnamoorthi, Mr. Khanna, Ms. Matsui, Mr. Keating, Mr. King of New York, Mr. Panetta, Mr. Quigley, Mr. Curtis, Mr. Pocan, Mr. Sherman, Mr. Serrano, Mr. Schrader, Mr. Tipton, Mr. Tonko, Mr. Thompson of California, Mr. Ryan, Ms. Frankel, Mr. Price of North Carolina, Ms. Bass, Mr. Suozzi, Ms. Schakowsky, Mr. Meeks, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, Mrs. Beatty, Ms. Kuster of New Hampshire, Mr. John W. Rose of Tennessee, Ms. Shalala, Mr. Loebsack, Mr. Kilmer, Mrs. Lowey, Mr. Correa, Ms. Gabbard, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Johnson of Georgia, Mr. Gaetz, Mr. Buck, Mr. Schweikert, Mr. Gallego, Mr. Yarmuth, Mr. Zeldin, Mr. Turner, Ms. Herrera Beutler, Mr. Collins of New York, Mr. Yoho, Miss Rice of New York, Mr. Sablan, Mr. Welch, Mr. DeSaulnier, Ms. Stefanik, Mr. Langevin, Ms. Wasserman Schultz, Mr. Posey, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Mr. Pascrell, Mr. Vargas, Mr. Upton, Ms. Clark of Massachusetts, Mr. Ruppersberger, Mr. Katko, Mr. Cole, Mr. Smith of Washington, Mr. Peters, Ms. Titus, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Cárdenas, Mrs. Axne, Mr. Bera, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Brendan F. Boyle of Pennsylvania, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, Mr. Rodney Davis of Illinois, Mr. Perry, Mr. Raskin, Mr. Gomez, Ms. Hill of California, Ms. Pingree, Mr. Joyce of Ohio, Mr. Neal, Ms. Speier, Mrs. Davis of California, Mr. Wittman, Ms. Velázquez, Mrs. Torres of California, Mr. Williams, Mr. Cohen, Ms. Bonamici, Mr. Levin of California, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Pallone, Mr. Gottheimer, Mr. McEachin, Mr. Heck, Mr. Loudermilk, Mr. Vela, Mrs. Bustos, Mr. Kildee, Ms. Slotkin, Ms. Judy Chu of California, Ms. Wilson of Florida, Mr. Sires, Mr. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, Mr. Schneider, Mr. DeFazio, and Ms. Plaskett) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To revise section 48 of title 18, United States Code, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act or the PACT Act.

2.

Revision of section 48

(a)

In general

Section 48 of title 18, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

48.

Animal crushing

(a)

Offenses

(1)

Crushing

It shall be unlawful for any person to purposely engage in animal crushing in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce or within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

(2)

Creation of animal crush videos

It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly create an animal crush video, if—

(A)

the person intends or has reason to know that the animal crush video will be distributed in, or using a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce; or

(B)

the animal crush video is distributed in, or using a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce.

(3)

Distribution of animal crush videos

It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, market, advertise, exchange, or distribute an animal crush video in, or using a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce.

(b)

Extraterritorial application

This section applies to the knowing sale, marketing, advertising, exchange, distribution, or creation of an animal crush video outside of the United States, if—

(1)

the person engaging in such conduct intends or has reason to know that the animal crush video will be transported into the United States or its territories or possessions; or

(2)

the animal crush video is transported into the United States or its territories or possessions.

(c)

Penalties

Whoever violates this section shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 7 years, or both.

(d)

Exceptions

(1)

In general

This section does not apply with regard to any conduct, or a visual depiction of that conduct, that is—

(A)

a customary and normal veterinary, agricultural husbandry, or other animal management practice;

(B)

the slaughter of animals for food;

(C)

hunting, trapping, fishing, a sporting activity not otherwise prohibited by Federal law, predator control, or pest control;

(D)

medical or scientific research;

(E)

necessary to protect the life or property of a person; or

(F)

performed as part of euthanizing an animal.

(2)

Good-faith distribution

This section does not apply to the good-faith distribution of an animal crush video to—

(A)

a law enforcement agency; or

(B)

a third party for the sole purpose of analysis to determine if referral to a law enforcement agency is appropriate.

(3)

Unintentional conduct

This section does not apply to unintentional conduct that injures or kills an animal.

(4)

Consistency with rfra

This section shall be enforced in a manner that is consistent with section 3 of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb–1).

(e)

No preemption

Nothing in this section shall be construed to preempt the law of any State or local subdivision thereof to protect animals.

(f)

Definitions

In this section—

(1)

the term animal crushing means actual conduct in which one or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is purposely crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365 and including conduct that, if committed against a person and in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, would violate section 2241 or 2242);

(2)

the term animal crush video means any photograph, motion-picture film, video or digital recording, or electronic image that—

(A)

depicts animal crushing; and

(B)

is obscene; and

(3)

the term euthanizing an animal means the humane destruction of an animal accomplished by a method that—

(A)

produces rapid unconsciousness and subsequent death without evidence of pain or distress; or

(B)

uses anesthesia produced by an agent that causes painless loss of consciousness and subsequent death.

.

(b)

Technical and conforming amendment

The table of sections for chapter 3 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking the item relating to section 48 and inserting the following:

48. Animal crushing.

.