In April, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a broader version of the law that would have banned the marketing of videos and images depicting cruelty to animals, saying it infringed on the First Amendment right to free speech.
A new bill was created that specifically exempts the sale or distribution of videos showing hunting, trapping, fishing, or any typical veterinary or agricultural husbandry practices. Anyone who creates, sells or owns these videos will be punished with fines or up to five years in prison.
According to AFP, the bill also defines crush videos as portrayals “in which one or more living animals is intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, or impaled” in a way that would violate animal cruelty statutes.
Crush videos appeal to sexual fetishists by showing women crushing to death small animals with their bare feet or wearing high heels.
Although there are existing laws against animal cruelty in all 50 states, it is difficult to prosecute crush videos because they rarely show faces, dates or locations.
The Associated Press reports that Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Calif., who crafted the measure, said the issue went beyond the torturing of animals. He noted that murderers including serial killer Ted Bundy and “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski, killed animals before killing people.
The bill, H.R. 5566, will now be sent to the U.S. Senate for consideration.