The U.S. Supreme Court decided on Monday, April 19 to invalidate a federal law prohibiting the sale of videos, photographs, or other media depicting acts of animal cruelty.
The now-defunct law, the Depiction of Animal Cruelty Act, was created to prevent the commercial sale of such “entertainment” videos from stimulating a market for depictions of animal abuse and thereby encouraging acts of animal cruelty.
While the Supreme Court found that depictions of animals were protected forms of free speech under the First Amendment, the American Human Association disagrees. American Humane’s interim president and CEO, George C. Casey stated: “Deliberately killing animals for entertainment has nothing to do with freedom of speech. Americans are within their right to keep blatant animal torture and killing out of the marketplace, and the Supreme Court should have made that the priority over the supposed protections of those who take sick pleasure in this material.”
The American Humane Association has urged the Supreme Court to reconsider the ruling, arguing that it will only be used to shield criminals from punishment for their crimes against animals. You can learn more about the Supreme Court ruling and the human cost of animal abuse at American Humane’s website at AmericanHumane.org. –Amanda Hughes