2010-04-30 / Top Stories

Bill To Ban Depictions Of Animal Cruelty

Following a ruling by the Supreme Court that overturned a federal ban on depictions of animal cruelty, Rep. Anthony Weiner has signed on as an original cosponsor to legislation that will make it illegal to sell socalled animal “crush” videos.

In a ruling delivered on Tuesday that was immediately condemned by animal rights advocates, the Supreme Court struck down the existing federal ban on grounds that it was too broad. The new legislation, which targets the sale of grotesque “crush videos,” is being introduced by Rep. Elton Gallegly of California. The bill excludes a ban on depictions of hunting and focuses specifically on the interstate sale of animal cruelty videos, so as to comply with the court’s ruling.

“As anyone who has watched a video of me on YouTube can attest, I’m an ardent believer in free speech. That said, the Supreme Court’s decision went too far,” Weiner said. “The court made it clear that Congress could pass a narrower law that still gave animals the protections they deserve. We’re taking that step today.”

The legislation defines “crush videos” as an image or video that depicts the actual conduct of an animal being intentionally crushed, burned, drowned or impaled. Acts of animal cruelty are banned in all 50 states.

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