President Donald Trump signed H.R. 724 on Monday, a bill criminalizing animal abuse and the creation and distribution of pictures and videos of animal torture.
“It is important that we combat these heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty, which are totally unacceptable in a civilized society,” Trump said as he signed the Protect Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT).
The president was joined by a number of animal non-profit activist representatives from the Humane Society, Animal Wellness Action, Big Dog Ranch Rescue, the National Animal Care and Control Association, and the Warrior Dog Foundation.
“From battlefields to hospitals, from the ranches of the frontier to the backyards of America, from animals of service to animals of war, our nation’s animals have played a vital role in the development, settlement, security, and happiness of our country,” Trump said.
The new law makes it a federal crime to engage in the crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating and impaling of live animals, allowing federal law enforcement to prosecute perpetrators within federal jurisdiction, according to the Humane Society.
“We have a responsibility to honor the dignity of God’s creation,” Trump said. “With today’s act, we take the critical step toward being more responsible and humane stewards of our planet and all who we want to cherish and take care of, and all of those who live on it.”
The bill passed unanimously in Congress.
The president held the bill signing ceremony the same day as he welcomed Conan to the White House, the hero canine unit from American special forces.
“In one stroke of the pen, the President has done more to protect animals and stop animal cruelty in America than anyone in history,” CEO of K9s for Warriors Rory Diamond said after the bill was signed.