Nation’s First-Ever Federal Anti-Cruelty Enacted


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In December 2019, President Trump signed into law the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT). AWA founder Wayne Pacelle conceived of the law five years ago, and it took that long to enact it, mainly due to the obstructionism of former U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, D-Va., who served as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee for several years. 

In December 2019, President Trump signed into law the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT). AWA founder Wayne Pacelle conceived of the law five years ago, and it took that long to enact it, mainly due to the obstructionism of former U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, D-Va., who served as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee for several years. The law established the first-ever federal anti-cruelty law in the United States, complementing state statutes that also forbid malicious cruelty. All 50 states provide for felony-level penalties for malicious cruelty, and a number of our esteemed NLEC members advocated for these policies over the past two decades.

John Thompson, executive director of the National Animal Control Association and a member of the NLEC, was also involved in lobbying for passage of the PACT Act, and he attended a signing ceremony at the White House along with AWA executive director Marty Irby.  Mr. Thompson, a former deputy executive director of the National Sheriffs’ Association, is quoted in this news story reporting on the signing of the legislation.

Wayne Pacelle also wrote about it in detailed in this issue of The Political Animal. 



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