Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the “Crush Act,” a 1999 federal law banning the creation, sale, and possession of materials depicting genuine acts of animal cruelty.
The case (U.S. v. Stevens) involved alleged dogfighter Robert J. Stevens, who was convicted in 2005 for marketing three videos that showed animal fighting. Stevens became the first person convicted under the Crush Act.
“While the ASPCA is disappointed with the court’s decision, we are thankful that the court considered the arguments in this case and took the issue of animal cruelty seriously,” said Dr. Randall Lockwood, Senior Vice President of Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects for the ASPCA. “We are pleased that Justice Alito, in his dissent, referred to the Act as ‘a valuable statute’ and acknowledged the importance of combating animal cruelty. The court made it clear that its major concern was that the scope of the law, as written, was too broad and could be applied to many circumstances that were not the intended focus of the law.”
I was disappointed in the court’s decision to overturn the bill, but perked up when I discovered that a new bill was introduced by Representative Gallegly (R-CA) to overcome the court’s decision. HR 5092 is more focused than the original Crush Act, but would still prevent video depictions of drowning, impaling, burning, and crushing animals, while at the same time addressing the constitutional flaws outlined by the Supreme Court.
You can help by contacting your representative today urging him or her to support and co-sponsor HR 5092.