Bill banning ‘crush videos,’ co-written by Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, headed to President Obama’s desk

A bill that’s bounced between the U.S. House and the Senate that bans videos depicting the torture and killing of animals is headed towards becoming federal law.

The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, co-sponsored by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, is on its way to President Obama, who’s likely to sign it.

“I’m thrilled,” said Merkley. “It’s a terrible thing to have a market based on selling and promoting the torture of animals for human gratification.”

The bill makes it a crime to create, sell, distribute, advertise, market or exchange crush videos, which typically show women killing small animals by stepping on them with stiletto heels.

The videos were outlawed a decade ago by a law passed by Congress banning depictions of animal cruelty. But in April, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the law, saying it was too broadly written and stepped on First Amendment rights of free speech.

Merkley said the act should be able to stand up to any court challenges.