Obama Closes Animal Cruelty Loophole for US Military Bases
There have been some shocking cases of animal abuse and neglect at the hands of military members. Until recently, the offenders of these crimes would have been able to get away with the abuse if it took place on a military base. This is because US state animal cruelty laws cannot be applied on an international level. This created a dangerous loophole for the animals.
President Obama recently signed an executive order that will change all that. A new provision under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) will now cover animal abuse, neglect, and abandonment charges wherever a US military base is stationed. Offenders could receive one to five years in jail (depending on the offense), an order to forfeit all pay and allowances, or even a bad conduct discharge.
The Humane Society of the United States credits staffer Sherry Ramsey and Rep. Ruben Gallego (D) from Arizona with leading the charge to amend the UCMJ. The momentum from this successful campaign is hoped to push the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act through Congress, which is now pending. The PACT Act would give the FBI and US attorneys the ability to prosecute occurences of animal abuse which occur in the realm of interstate commerce anywhere on federal property. There is currently no opposition to the act and so, hopefully soon, this will count as another success for the animals.
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