Bipartisan bill seeks to make animal cruelty a federal felony

WASHINGTON DC (KABC) -- A bipartisan bill has been introduced to make animal cruelty a federal felony.

Democrat Rep. Ted Deutch of West Boca and Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan of Sarasota have brought forth the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act.

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

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The bill would make those convicted of "crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling" animals punishable by up to seven years in prison. If passed, the bill would also close a loophole in a 2010 law that currently only punishes abuse seen in videos.

The Orlando Sentinel reports the bill was introduced in the past but was blocked by former Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, who is no longer in office.

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