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Congress approves bill expanding animal cruelty law

WASHINGTON — Congress has passed a bill making certain types of animal cruelty a federal felony.

The bill would expand a 2010 law that made creation or distribution of so-called “animal crushing” videos illegal. The new bill would make the underlying acts of cruelty a federal crime.

The Senate unanimously passed the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act on Tuesday, two weeks after the House passed it on a voice vote.

Florida Reps. Ted Deutch and Vern Buchanan sponsored the bill. Deutch, a Democrat, said it “sends a clear message that our society does not accept cruelty against animals.” Buchanan, a Republican, said “the torture of innocent animals is abhorrent and should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

The bill now goes to the president.

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