UNITED STATES—President Donald Trump signed a law on Monday, November 25 making animal cruelty a federal crime in the United States of America. 

H.R. 724 which prevents animal cruelty and the torture act was signed by President Trump, making it his first animal cruelty bill since the start of his term as president of the United States. The bill was introduced by Theodore Deutch (D), a representative for Florida’s 22nd congressional district, back in January 2019. The bill passed the House and Senate phase on November 5 and went to President Trump to sign. 

H.R. 724 makes it illegal for any individual to partake or be responsible for inflicting eminent violence or torture on animals, including non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, for the mere purpose of videotaping the act. The new law is building off an existing law, the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, that focused directly on individuals who tortured and killed small animals for sexual gratification by stomping on them with high heels on, and recording it. 

While the previous law focused on the word “crushed” when explaining how the animal is being tortured, the new law broadens the definition to include if an animal is burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or subjected to serious bodily injury, in addition to being crushed. 

Loopholes and exemptions to this bill include slaughtering livestock, hunting, trapping, fishing, and medical or scientific research. Lara Trump, animal welfare advocate, daughter-in-law and 2020 campaign adviser to the POTUS, is a supporter of the bill and was praised by her husband, Eric Trump via Twitter. 

“Great job @realDonaldTrump and @LaraLeaTrump!”, said Eric Trump. 

The new law has a maximum of seven years in prison and a penalty of fines.