NEW YORK--The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) expressed thanks to President Barack Obama for signing the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010 into law and voicing his conclusive support for this important legislation. The new law prohibits the creation, sale and distribution of "crush videos" and carries with it a potential sentence of up to seven years in prison. Crush videos are generally sold over the Internet and typically contain graphic images of small animals being stomped to death by women in high heels.
Dr. Randall Lockwood, senior vice president of ASPCA Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects, who helped draft an amicus brief on the Supreme Court case and works to increase public and professional awareness of the connection between animal abuse and other forms of violence, issued the following statement on President Obama's signing:
"The ASPCA has long recognized the dangerous potential for animal cruelty to lead to more serious crimes. By banning crush videos, our federal government is potentially helping to protect the community from other serious crimes and sending a clear message to individuals seeking to profit from the suffering of helpless animals.
"This law protects both animals and free speech by focusing specifically on crush videos, which clearly have no place in our society."
The bill was drafted in response to the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last April saying the 1999 federal law regarding the depiction of animal cruelty was too broad and violated the First Amendment. The Court left open a pathway for Congress to pass a more narrowed law targeting crush videos and exempting visual depictions of hunting, trapping, and fishing. The Senate recently gave its unanimous approval just days after the House took action on the bill.
For more information on the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, please visit www.aspca.org.