Lawmakers Moving Legislation to Ban Animal Cruelty Videos

September 16, 2010
Lawmakers are again considering legislation aimed at outlawing videos that depict animal cruelty. In the spring, the Supreme Court ruling in U.S. v. Stevens, invalidated as a violation of the First Amendment a 1999 federal law that banned creation and disturbution of videos of animal cruelty.

The Blog of Legal Times (BLT) reports on a hearing this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee focused on creating a new law that supposedly would not be as sweeping as the first one. The new legislation is supposedly aimed primarily at crush videos, which show animals being crushed to death by "scantily clad, high-heeled women," as described before the committee by the Humane Society of the United States' (HSUS) vice president for government affairs Nancy Perry.

The BLT, notes that "ACLU lobbyist Michael Macleod-Ball," testified against the bill warning that although animal cruelty is illegal, but that banning such acts would still violated free speech.

In post for the HSUS blog, the group's leader Wayne Pacelle writes that the matter of trying again to ban crush videos has "united members of Congress across the spectrum," noting that the House of Representatives has already passed a bill "to ban interstate and foreign commerce in these abhorrent videos."

[image via wikimedia commons]