Pennsylvania has long had a law on the books prohibiting the sexual abuse of animals, and last week, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed legislation introduced by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to provide federal law enforcement with tools to prosecute the most egregious and widespread cases of bestiality.
Like animal fighting and the “crush video” trade, bestiality involves a national subculture where animals are often moved across state lines and Internet forums are used to facilitate this exploitation. Bestiality is also associated with child pornography and other sexual crimes against people. The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, S. 654 would prohibit this type of malicious animal cruelty when it occurs in interstate commerce or on federal property.
We are grateful for Sen. Toomey’s leadership, and thank Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) for cosponsoring the PACT Act. Now it’s up to the U.S. House of Representatives to pass this critical measure.
Wayne Pacelle, Washington, D.C.
The writer is president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.