President Signs Bill to Stop Animal “Crush” Videos

Posted by Stephan Otto, ALDF's Director of Legislative Affairs on December 10, 2010

President Obama signed a bill into law Thursday banning, once again, the sale of animal “crush” videos (depictions of small animals being crushed to death by humans for sexual fetish purposes).

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court in an 8-1 decision (in U.S. v. Stevens) struck down a 1999 law that had prohibited the interstate commerce of these videos 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 House of Representatives, in response to the Supreme Court’s decision, drafted a more narrowly tailored bill aimed at prohibiting crush videos in a constitutionally sanctioned manner. The bill, H.R. 5566, passed with almost unanimous support. The Senate followed suit in September, voting unanimously on a substitute amendment to H.R. 5566. In November, both the House and the Senate agreed on final language.

The more narrowly written law that emerged makes it a crime to sell or distribute videos showing animals being intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury. It exempts depictions of veterinary and husbandry practices, the slaughter of animals for food, as well as depictions of hunting, trapping or fishing.

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

Thank you to everyone who called, wrote letters and spoke out to legislators in support of this very important legislation!


24 thoughts on “President Signs Bill to Stop Animal “Crush” Videos

  1. J. Chiapperini says:

    Thank you, Mr. President!

  2. AUGUSTINE ALIBERTI says:

    I ALSO DEEPLY THANK YOU MR PRESIDENT.

  3. LESLIE LEON says:

    THANK YOU FOR SIGNING THAT BILL.. ANIMAL ABUSERS ARE LOSERS

  4. VANESSA says:

    finally a PRESIDENT THAT CARES ABOUT ALL LIVES ANIMALS ARE JUST AS IMPORTANT AS PEOPLE … FOR AS GHANDI SAID A NATION IS JUDGED BY HOW THEY TREAT THERE ANIMALS.

  5. cat says:

    thank you Mr President…..
    Bless your heart!

  6. Patricia Viamontes says:

    I am so thankful…but it was 8-1…who was the 1 who voted against the bill?

  7. jacqueline brake says:

    Thank you, Mr. President for passing a law on crush videos, so that these innocent animals will no longer be tortured in such a cruel way. God Bless you for doing this, on behalf of animals everywhere.

  8. thank you mr president for having a heart and careing about animals. after all we are gods creatures great and small. i hope people remember your name for long time so you mr presidant get the recinition you deserve thank you again and also all people who sigh this. denise

  9. Kyle says:

    Patricia, the Supreme Court struck down the old law, thus holding it unconstitutional for being too overly broad. 8 justices found it unconstitutional, and 1, Alito, thought that the law should be upheld. His dissent is actually some pretty good reading.

    This new bill is a direct reaction to what the majority held, by making the crime very narrowly tailored.

  10. Margaret says:

    God Bless the President of the United States for giving us this tool to stop this horrific crime!

  11. Patrice Marotta says:

    OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How does it not surprise me, humans once again capable of such horrific insane acts.
    Here’s a thought: Take the people who are doing this horrific disgusting act, and do it to them!

  12. tom connors says:

    I just want to say thank you so much, Mr. President!!! Endless accolades for you sir!!

  13. carole strack says:

    thank you mr president for signing in this law, as you own a dog, i am sure your children love you for doing this. you are showing the world you care about gods creatures and no one has the right to abuse and torture them as they would also torture humans.thank you for your compassion, i bless you and your family

  14. Toireasa says:

    Sorry to burst the bubble but signing this into law won’t stop them from continuing to make them.

    But yeah, pat on the back for the president.

    Now all we need is for law enforcement to actually enforce the law.

  15. Shirley says:

    Nothing is going to stop sick people from doing what they do – BUT….NOW they will and can be prosecuted for doing it….it’s a start!! So, I commend you President Obama for stepping up to help these poor animals. Shirley in Oklahoma

  16. April Thompson says:

    Thank you Mr.President for saving innocent animals!

  17. Christina says:

    Thank you Mr. President for signing this into law. Now, I hope that they will prosecute and sentence to a long term in prison anyone who makes them, sells them, puts them on the internet, etc. Christina – Miami, FL

  18. d says:

    At least it is considered a crime once again. Teeth in the law are needed.
    What a despicable race we are to need this type of patrolling.

  19. Kim says:

    Thank you Mr President, you are an honorable president, but more than that, a wonderful man.
    You get it. Thank you so much

  20. Linda Gooding says:

    Thank God Mr. Obama signed this, however I’d have been happier if more publicity would have been given to it. I have followed this case for years & knew that the law was being rewritten to appease our SCOTUS.

    I am right now here in beautiful, scenic animal-abusing Ohio where the local pound didn’t even have a building for the dogs-just a “tarp” wrapped around an outdoor kennel. It is closed now pending a lawsuit by the Ohio SPCA. It has been on CNN, Ellen Degeneres, etc. The worst part is the attitude & active attempts of the local trio of county commisioners actively fighting this. They don’t want to deal with this & yet won’t let in any agency who is willing to build them a new facility & assist in the workings of it.

    Keep fighting one & all for justice. I’m getting too old & infirmed, but I will continue until I don’t have breath anymore because I know in my SOUL it is the right thing to do.

  21. Sureel Shah says:

    Thank you, Obama.
    These people are freaking disgusting. Murdering the innocent for sexual gratification? Really. Pathetic.

  22. Jamie says:

    Good god, I had never heard of such things – it’s stupid that there need even be a special law for this – but I’m grateful our president took action on these animals behalf.

  23. Robert Harper says:

    I haven’t read any of the actual text of the law, but the recent comments I see make me wonder how the law defines “animals” in these restrictions. For example, are bacteria “animals”? Are nematodes “animals”? Are flies, fleas, and mosquitoes also protected by this Supreme Court decision? I personally have a hard time thinking they should be, but where is the line?
    I don’t know where my line is on this sort of issue. It is not clear-cut.

    What do you think?

  24. Faith says:

    Thank you Mr President for stepping up to the plate. Now we need to make animal abuse a FELONY. ANIMALS ARE HELPLESS same as children and the elderly. They depend on us to take care of them. It is a crime and should be punishable as such. Actually, I really think the very same pain or neglect that is done to the animal should be inflicted on the criminal. I mean, do we want to make believer’s out of these Monsters or not? This is a No-Brainer.