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BVSPCA voices support for federal law protecting animals


The Brandywine Valley SPCA is applauding a new law making it a federal crime to abuse animals. 

President Trump signed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act Monday.

The bipartisan legislation bans intentionally inflicting serious harm to "living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians." It also bans depicting animal cruelty in videos or photography.

A violation of the law could be punishable with a fine, a prison term of up to seven years or both.

Animal cruelty was previously enforced on the state level.

“It’s really fantastic to see this federal law come into play,” said BVSPCA spokeswoman Linda Torelli. “So many animals are depending on the state level laws to protect them and in a lot of cases they are just insufficient. So to have federal backing and bipartisan support on this bill coming into law is huge.”

Torelli says Delaware has done a good job of enforcing its laws, but the laws in other states are not as stringent.

“We certainly still have work to do in Delaware, but we do have a good basis. We have a strong group of animal advocates both in the legislature and in the community that are helping to strengthen the laws really through every session,” she said. “Across the country the animals aren’t quite so lucky.”      

The BVSPCA enforces animal cruelty laws in Chester County and Delaware County Pennsylvania. Delaware’s animal cruelty laws are enforced by the state Office of Animal Welfare. 

The BVSPCA has a mega adoption event planned next month.

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