Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act

On April 20, 2010, the Supreme Court in United States v. Stevens held that the Depiction of Animal Cruelty Act of 1999, which attempted to criminalize selling or possessing depictions of animal cruelty for commercial gain, was unconstitutional because the law was overly broad.

In response, Congress has again addressed the issue of “animal crush videos,” which depict violent and obscene acts intentionally performed to torture small animals.  On September 28, 2010, the Senate passed the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, H.R. 5566, by unanimous consent. The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on July 21, 2010 and will soon be sent to the President for his signature.

The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act criminalizes the creation, sale, distribution, advertising, marketing and exchange of animal crush videos, and makes a violation of the law punishable by up to seven years in prison. While helping to stop extreme animal cruelty from occurring, the bill continues to uphold the protection of free speech. For example, the bill specifically exempts veterinary videos, animal husbandry videos, and hunting, trapping and fishing videos.

By addressing the issue of crush videos, the Senate did an important deed to protect the welfare of animals. I strongly support this bill and I am glad that it passed quickly and with the widespread support of the full Senate. I look forward to the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act becoming a law soon.