Under a new law signed by President Donald Trump on Monday, animal cruelty is now a federal crime.
The Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act expands on a 2010 animal cruelty law that outlawed creating or distributing videos of animals being intentionally injured or killed.
But that law only targeted the creation and sale of videos, not the acts of cruelty themselves. This new measure — which passed both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support — closes that loophole.
Anyone now found guilty of animal cruelty will face a fine and up to seven years in prison.
Animal welfare activists applauded the new anti-cruelty law, saying it was long overdue.
More than 100 law enforcement agencies also supported the measure. Those agencies say there's often a link between animal abuse and violent crimes against humans.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.