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Pornography is a big deal in America and arguably has its place. While New York City, Miami and Los Angeles are all cities with big porno markets, this week, record porn site hits came from another city.
During the 2016 Republican National Convention, the number of people watching pornography videos surpassed the number of people who watched the Cavaliers win the NBA Championship.
Yup. Turns out, Trump is good for the porn business. A record setting 873,294 videos were viewed in The Buckeye State after Trump's name was put into pornographic search engines. Who knew the party of Lincoln drips with erotica?
Since this subject is trending, let's see if we can tie it in with animal rights.
Yes we can! There's a connection, and it's very disturbing. First, a little background. Bestiality, or, sex with animals, is legal in plenty of states. But it's not enough you know that, just for fun, I'm going to call them out on it so those who live in these states can get busy on the legislation needed to outlaw this sick stuff.
Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Kentucky, Montana, Washington, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, Vermont , Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming and, not surprisingly, the District of Columbia. Humans are not the only ones being screwed by politicians in D.C. Oh, and you can have intimate relations with a non-human in Guam with complete immunity.
As if sexual abuse of animals isn't bad enough, some sickos just can't stop until the animal or animals are tortured and killed for sexual pleasure.
Just ask Brent Justice, 54, and his girlfriend, Ashley Richards, 25. This deranged Houston couple was arrested in 2012 for making and distributing dozens of “crush videos” where animals were tortured by the couple while the couple engaged in sexual acts. Graphic details of what this entails can be found here. Puncturing a kitten's eye with a high heel shoe is just the beginning. Don't look if you can't deal with the facts of the case. It's not really important that you make yourself sick. What's important is that you take action. More on that later.
The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act passed during the Legislative Session of the 111th Congress in 2010 prohibited the trade in pornographic videos in which animal cruelty is depicted. It states, in part:
“Each of the several states and the District of Columbia criminalize intentional acts of extreme animal cruelty, such as the intentional crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating or impaling of animals for no socially redeeming purpose.”
As if any of that can ever be sold to the public as socially redeeming.
The exact text of the Act can be found on GovTrack.US. Of course, nothing is ever easy so there are limits to what this law does.
In a nutshell, the trade in crush videos is illegal but the act of animal cruelty isn't. It's confusing.
So now, the 114th Congress which concludes in January, 2017, has been asked to plug up the loopholes in the 2010 act.
Specifically, H.R. 2293 was introduced by Rep. Lamar Smith, (R-TX), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Tom Marino (R-PA) and Earl Blumenthal (D-CT). The Senate bill, 1831, was introduced by Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
Entitled the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (PACT), this bill would prohibit the extreme acts of animal cruelty depicted in the videos. It would also provide federal prosecutors with the ammo they need to prosecute offenders when the offense is occurring in a federal jurisdiction or interstate commerce. Federal agents would be permitted to pursue animal cruelty charges revealed while agents are investigating another interstate violation, such as drug trafficking.
Prosecutors could also stop to the transport of animals for the purpose of bestiality, even if the crime occurs in one of the states listed above.
Ann Chynoweth is the Vice President of the Animal Cruelty Campaign for the Humane Society of the United States. She believes the PACT Act is sensible, bi-partisan legislation that would outlaw extreme acts of animal cruelty that occur on federal property or in interstate commerce.
“The PACT Act would strengthen current federal law that outlaws the commerce in crush videos where animals are tortured for a sexual fetish. It would give federal prosecutors the ability to not only prosecute the peddlers of these hideous videos, but also those who crush, burn, drown, suffocate or otherwise torture animals to make them,” says Ms. Chynoweth. “There is a documented connected between animal cruelty and human violence and that is why the National Sheriffs' Association and more than 200 law enforcement agencies from across the country have endorsed the PACT Act.”
So what can you do? “Not much is moving now during the presidential elections,” says Laura Bevan, Southeast Regional Director for the HSUS. But that doesn't mean that after November, lawmakers can sit back and rest. No, they need to get back to the task at hand, passing laws to make life better for animals because animals have an inherent right to live their lives and make their way in the world without human intervention. So find out who your reps are (you can do so here) and call, email and visit them to urge them to support the PACT act. This shouldn't be controversial, and there's no appropriate argument against passage of this act.