Like many animal welfare advocates, I was disturbed and disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against a federal law on April 20 that would have made it a crime to produce and sell dogfighting and other animal cruelty videos. The rationale for the 8-to-1 ruling against the law was that it would set a precedent that might limit other forms of free speech.
Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. voted in favor of the law on the grounds that since animal cruelty, like child pornography, is a crime, the activities involved in depicting it should not be protected by the First Amendment.
That sounds pretty sensible to me. In fact, I think it defies common sense to allow a video to be made and sold for profit of an actual crime committed. Animal cruelty is a crime in all 50 states and anyone caught engaging in or profiting from it should be arrested and prosecuted.
The last thing any society needs is for cruelty to be protected as a legitimate form of self-expression. This ruling by our Supreme Court was a big step in the wrong direction, in my opinion, for making this a more humane nation.
There is hope, however. A new bill (H.R. 5092) has been introduced in the House to ban the sale of animal abuse videos known as “crush videos.”
CAT FANCY and CatChannel will continue to follow this legislation. In the meantime, you can contact your representative to show your support for H.R. 5092.
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