It carries penalties of up to 7 years in prison.
President Donald Trump has signed into law a bill making abusive behavior toward animals a federal felony, ABC News reports.
The bill called the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, was previously passed by the House and the Senate.
CBS News has reported that the bipartisan legislation applies to offenses such as “crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling and other bodily injury” toward animals.
The bill was introduced in the House by Republican Vern Buchanan and Democrat Ted Deutch, both of Florida. The New York Times reports that the law makes certain acts of cruelty “punishable with fines and up to seven years in prison.”
Kitty Block, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said the law “makes a statement about American values.”
“Animals are deserving of protection at the highest level,” ABC News quoted Block saying. “The approval of this measure by the Congress and the president marks a new era in the codification of kindness to animals within federal law. For decades, a national anti-cruelty law was a dream for animal protectionists. Today, it is a reality.”