NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - While every state, including North Carolina, already has laws against animal cruelty, certain crimes against animals are currently able to tape their illicit conduct and sell and exchange the disturbing video online.
This week, Congress is taking up this issue by trying to make it against the law to sell or distribute videos that violate bans on animal cruelty by showing animals being burned, drowned, suffocated or impaled.
Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina is one of the sponsors of the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act.
The so-called crush videos often appeal to a sexual fetish by showing women, often wearing high heels, stomping small animals to death.
"Animal crush videos are far beyond what most people would think of when they hear the phrase ‘animal cruelty' – they are shockingly gruesome, unbelievably cruel, and disturbingly perverse," Burr said. "Our legislation is narrowly tailored to address the creation of these videos for interstate commerce, and will give law enforcement the tools they need to stop this abhorrent practice."
"We're very happy to see that something is coming about to end any form of animal cruelty," said Dr. Jean McNeil of New Hanover County Animal Control. "I believe this is a step in the right direction."
A similar bill was struck down by the Supreme Court earlier this year on the grounds that it violated First Amendment free speech protections.
Burr says this version is more narrowly tailored.
The bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives this week. Now, it heads to the Senate. No word on when they will vote on the bill.
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