Merkley’s Bill to Ban Animal Torture Videos Passes Senate

Washington, D.C. – The Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act of 2010, a bill introduced this week by Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, passed the Senate unanimously Tuesday evening.  The bipartisan bill, cosponsored by Senators Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Richard Burr (R-NC), criminalizes the creation, sale, distribution, advertising, marketing, and exchange of animal crush videos.

“The torture and killing of animals for pleasure and profit is absolutely unacceptable,” Merkley said.  “I’m pleased that we were able to move this bill quickly through the Senate and I’m hoping for prompt passage through the House.”

Crush videos are sexual fetish videos of women mutilating small animals with their feet.  A 2009 Supreme Court decision ruled that a previous law banning sale of the videos was overly broad.  

The House previously passed by an overwhelming margin similar legislation, the Prevention of Interstate Commerce in Animal Crush Videos Act (H.R. 5566), sponsored by Representatives Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and Gary Peters (D-MI).  Because the two versions differ slightly, the House will need to pass the Senate bill in order to send it to the president’s desk.  

The penalty for violations of the measure would be up to seven years in prison.