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Donald Trump Makes Animal Cruelty A Major Crime In US

Donald Trump has made animal cruelty a federal crime in the U.S. with offenders now facing up to seven years in jail time.

President Trump signed a bipartisan bill into law Monday, making animal cruelty a federal crime.

The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act, or PACT Act, bans abusive behaviour including crushing, burning, drowning, suffocating, impaling and other bodily injury toward any non-human mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians.

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Australia's Horror Month Of Animal Cruelty Leads To Push For National Protection Laws

October 2019 has been a horror month for despicable acts of animal cruelty and the RSPCA says it's tired of the issue not being taken seriously, calling on the country to be proactive and introduce national laws immediately.

The PACT Act, introduced in January by Democratic Florida Congressman Ted Deutch and his Republican colleague, Vern Buchanan, expands the Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which was passed by Congress in 2010 and made the creation and distribution of animal crushing videos illegal.

Trump meets Conan the Dog. Image: Reuters.

However, the new act closes a loophole by prohibiting the underlying acts of animal abuse, according to the office of Congressman Deutch.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill in October and the Senate followed suit the following month.

The president then made it official just hours after welcoming a heroic animal into the White House.

U.S. military K9 Conan, the dog that assisted Special Forces soliders in the raid that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty

Conan, the "ultimate dog" that helped the U.S. military bring down ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria last month, was honoured by the president in a Rose Garden ceremony.

"It's very fitting that it was on the same day," Trump said during the signing ceremony, adding that Conan "created quite a stir."

Violators of the PACT Act now face criminal penalties of a fine, a prison term of up to seven years, or both.

"This bill is particularly important to us as the only humane law enforcement agency in D.C.," Chris Schindler, vice president of field services at the Humane Rescue Alliance told CBS News.

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It's feared hundreds of koalas have been burned alive by an out-of-control bushfire in northern NSW that's raged unchecked for days in the heartland of their prime habitat. 

"Our officers investigate thousands of animal cruelty cases each year, but have been unable to truly bring justice for the animals in instances when the cruelty occurs across multiple jurisdictions."

"The PACT Act is a necessary tool for us to provide further protections for animals and our community, and will ensure some of the most horrific acts of animal cruelty are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Schindler's statement continued.

Meanwhile, the Australian government has been accused of dragging its heels in its response to acts of animal cruelty, after one of the worst months the nation had seen in terms of abuse.

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ACT Dog Owners To Be Fined $4,000 For Not Walking Their Pets

Dog owners in the Australian capital will now face hefty fines and jail time for not walking their dogs.

Horror stories from October 2019 prompted the RSPCA to call on the country to be more proactive and introduce national laws immediately.

The country's agriculture minister agreed, promising to turn Australia into a 'world leader' in terms of animal welfare and protection.