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Obama signs animal crush video act

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United States
12/15/2010 05:11 PM
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Obama signs animal crush video act
WASHINGTON: American President Barack Obama received praise from animal rights activists after signing into law a bill that prohibits the creation, sale and distribution of “animal crush videos.”

Trent Jones, a Washington-based activist, told Bikya Masr on Sunday that he feels the president did the right thing and that the new law will help push away these videos, that depict animals being tortured to death by people.

“It is a great time to be a supporter of animals and their right to life after Obama signed the bill,” said Jones. “I am proud and happy.”

The new law carries a potential sentence of 7 years in prison if convicted.

The bill was drafted in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 8-1 ruling last April saying the 1999 federal law regarding the depiction of animal cruelty was too broad and violated the First Amendment. That specific case dealt with a Virginia man who sold videos of dog fights. The Humane Society, other animal rights groups and 26 states backed the government’s original high court challenge appeal.

The lone dissenter, Justice Samuel Alito focused on the “excruciating pain” that the living creatures in the videos experience. “Our society has long banned such cruelty,” he said in his statement.

This left the door open for Congress to pass a more narrowed law targeting this specific type of commercial activity, but that exempted videos of hunting, trapping and fishing. The Senate recently gave its unanimous approval just days after the House took action on the bill.

Crush videos are fetish items that are almost exclusively sold over the Internet. They commonly feature women stomping helpless animals, such as rabbits and mice, to death with spiked-heel shoes or with their bare feet.

[link to bikyamasr.com]