US House votes ban on 'crush videos'
Washington: The US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to ban so-called "crush videos" – fetish films in which small animals are maimed or killed.
Lawmakers yesterday voted 416-3 to punish those who create, sell, or own such recordings with fines or up to five years in prison.
The House acted after the US Supreme Court in April struck down a broader version of the law passed in 1999 as overly broad and improperly infringing on the US Constitution's First Amendment right to free speech.
The new bill explicitly exempts the sale or distribution of videos showing hunting, trapping, fishing, or any typical veterinary or agricultural husbandry practices.
The bill also defines crush videos as video 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.
The measure, crafted by Republican Representative Elton Gallegly, now goes to the US Senate.