US & World

House passes new ban on animal cruelty videos

Rabbits eat the grass at Yellowstone Park in Wyoming on April 1, 2010
Rabbits eat the grass at Yellowstone Park in Wyoming on April 1, 2010
Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

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This spring, the US Supreme Court tossed out a decade-old ban on so-called “crush” videos that portray animal torture. This week, the House of Representatives passed a new measure that addresses the high court’s concerns.

Republican Congressman Elton Gallegly of Simi Valley wrote the original 1999 law that banned crush videos. He calls videos of animal cruelty "one of the most despicable things that I’ve ever witnessed."
Gallegly notes that serial killers like Jeffrey Dahmer and Ted Bundy started their killing sprees with animals.

But in April of this year, the US Supreme Court struck down the law, calling it too broad. The high court said it would consider a more narrowly crafted ban.

Gallegly held hearings and wrote a new measure that outlaws specific acts: the depiction of drowning, impaling, burning, or crushing of critters. This week, the House passed the measure. "Clearly when you have 416 people voting for something and 3 voting against it, we can’t find that many people here than can agree on what day of the week it is."

The bill now goes to the Senate. If passed, it’s likely once again to be tested in a court of law.