Donald Trump signed the first animal cruelty bill of his presidency on Monday, outlawing narrow types of egregious violence usually committed for the purpose of videotaping them.
The Senate unanimously passed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act this month after a similar House vote in late October. It applies to non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, building on a 2010 law that criminalized the distributon of so-called ‘crush’ videos—footage meant to satisfy an unusual sexual fetish—by also outlawing the production of the films.
Producing a crush video typically consists of filming a small animal being killed by stomping on it. But the new law expands the definition to include animals that are ‘purposely crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury.’
President Trump said the bill would stop people from sharing footage of animal cruelty. ‘It is important that we combat these heinous and sadistic acts of cruelty,’ he said.