US House passes animal-cruelty video ban

In a 416-3 vote on Wednesday, the US House of Representatives passed a new version of a ban on videos depicting animal cruelty. The measure narrows the scope of the previous ban, in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on so-called free speech grounds.

The proposed legislation – “” which excludes the sale or distribution of depictions of hunting, trapping, fishing or “customary and normal veterinary or agricultural husbandry practices.” “” (according to story from the LA Times) – now heads to the Senate.

I wonder what the three individuals who voted against this bill where thinking?

The biggest possible problem I see with the bill is it is limited to a ban on  “the sale or distribution of only obscene visual depictions of animal cruelty.” So what is “obscene?” Most people would consider dog fighting cruel and obscene. So is dog fighting obscene or not, in the view of the House or the Supreme Court?

If the act being shown in the video is illegal (from animal cruelty to dog fighting, etc) then the sale of the video depicting the act should be illegal – other than news accounts or news documentaries reporting on the horrors of the crimes.

Sometimes common sense has to prevail – right?


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