Help Stop Crush Videos

Posted by Stephen Wells, ALDF's Executive Director on September 28, 2010

It’s time for the U.S. Senate to act on anti-crush legislation. Contact your Senators today and ask them to support S. 3841!

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court in an 8-1 (in U.S. v. Stevens) decision struck down a 1999 law that prohibited the interstate commerce of animal crush videos (depictions of small animals being crushed to death by humans for sexual fetish purposes) and other depictions of animal cruelty. The court found the law was overly broad and therefore an unconstitutional violation of free speech.

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision, there has been a resurgence of these loathsome videos — videos which had all but disappeared from the marketplace following the 1999 law.

In July, the U.S. House, in response to the Supreme Court’s decision, drafted a more narrowly tailored bill aimed at prohibiting crush videos, while attempting not to run afoul of the Constitution. The bill, HR 5566, passed with almost unanimous support.

Yesterday, Senators Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) introduced a Senate version of the anti-crush legislation — S. 3841. This bill seeks to place animal crush depictions directly into the obscenity realm and would also ban their non-commercial distribution.

A new law targeting the market for these gruesome depictions would give law enforcement a much-needed tool for stemming the proliferation of these videos.

It’s time for the Senate to act to help stop this extreme form of animal torture. Please contact your Senators today through ALDF’s website and ask them to support S. 3841 by joining as a co-sponsor and by voting in favor of it.

Thank you for supporting this important legislation and speaking out against animal cruelty!