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Congressman Gary Peters and supporters of the legislation banning the production of animal torture videos, met at the Detroit Zoo in Royal Oak last week. This is to mark their successful effort in getting the bill passed.
According to Peters, “Animal torture videos are barbaric and have no place in a civilized society.” He also stated, “By promising to lock up the people who produce and distribute these videos we can work to put a halt to this horrendous practice.”
For his part, Wayne Pacelle, the president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, said, “After federal judges struck down the law banning the sale of animal crush videos, this horrible and cruel industry stepped into the legal void and resumed its commercial creation and peddling of these videos.”
Crush videos show small animals like guinea pigs, kittens, rabbits, or puppies, being impaled, and then intentionally drowned, burned or suffocated. Other crush videos show women wearing stiletto heels mashing these little animals to death.
The new legislation, which Peters helped pass, bans the creation, sale or distribution of animal torture videos. This includes the crush videos.
While a federal law banning the creation and sale of these types of videos has been in effect since 1999, it was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case United States v. Stevens in April 20, 2010.
In its decision, the Supreme Court said that the 1999 law is too broad and has the potential of infringing upon the First Amendment free speech rights.
To avoid the issues raised in the 1999 law, Peter’s legislation was carefully drafted to prevent it from being declared unconstitutional just like its predecessor. The legislation is expected to be signed by the President into law soon.