Signed into federal law in 1999, the Crush Act banned the creation, sale and possession of materials depicting genuine acts of animal cruelty where such acts are illegal. The law had effectively dried up U.S. commerce in “crush” fetish videos (also called “squish” videos), which generally depict a woman’s feet crushing to death small animals such as rodents and kittens. Unfortunately, three weeks ago the U.S. Supreme Court declared the Crush Act unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable. The Court’s main concern was the broadness of the law’s language, which could make the law applicable in many circumstances not intended by its authors.
The day after the Supreme Court’s ruling, Representative Gallegly (R-CA) introduced H.R. 5092, a new bill designed to overcome the Court’s decision to strike down the Crush Act. The bill amends the Crush Act to give it a much narrower focus, but would still prohibit selling or offering to sell any depictions of animals being crushed, drowned, impaled, or burned where such acts are illegal. Passage of H.R. 5092 will help ensure that the crush video industry is not revitalized in the absence of an enforceable federal law.
Since its introduction, H.R. 5092 has gained tremendous support in the House of Representatives. Out of the House’s 435 voting members, 199 have signed on as cosponsors. H.R. 5092 is currently awaiting action in the House Committee on the Judiciary.
If you would like to help fight animal suffering and exploitation, please visit aspca.org/HR5092 to quickly send an email to your U.S. representative asking him or her to support the revised Crush Act. We also encourage animal lovers to become members of the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade to receive important, timely news about pending animal-related legislation in your state and in Congress.