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United States

United States Code Annotated. Title 18. Crimes and Criminal Procedure. Part I. Crimes. Chapter 3. Animals, Birds, Fish, and Plants.

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: 18 U.S.C.A. 48

Citation: 18 USCA 48


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 11/2013

Summary:   This federal law prohibits the creation and distribution of "animal crush videos." Violation incurs a fine and imprisonment of up to 7 years. Exceptions under the law include normal veterinary or agricultural husbandry practices, the slaughter of animals for food, and the practices of hunting, fishing, or trapping.


Statute in Full:

Recognized as Unconstitutional by

Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Ass'n, 131 S.Ct. 2729, 2731+, 180 L.Ed.2d 708+, 79 USLW 4658, 4658+, 11 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 7874, 7874+, 2011 Daily Journal D.A.R. 9459, 9459+, 22 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 1259+ (U.S. Jun 27, 2011) (NO. 08-1448)

Text of Law:

(a) Definition.--In this section the term “animal crush video” means any photograph, motion-picture film, video or digital recording, or electronic image that--

(1) depicts actual conduct in which 1 or more living non-human mammals, birds, reptiles, or amphibians is intentionally crushed, burned, drowned, suffocated, impaled, or otherwise subjected to serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365 and including conduct that, if committed against a person and in the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, would violate section 2241 or 2242); and

(2) is obscene.

(b) Prohibitions.--

(1) Creation of animal crush videos.--It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly create an animal crush video, if--

(A) the person intends or has reason to know that the animal crush video will be distributed in, or using a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce; or

(B) the animal crush video is distributed in, or using a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce.

(2) Distribution of animal crush videos.--It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly sell, market, advertise, exchange, or distribute an animal crush video in, or using a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce.

(c) Extraterritorial application.--Subsection (b) shall apply to the knowing sale, marketing, advertising, exchange, distribution, or creation of an animal crush video outside of the United States, if--

(1) the person engaging in such conduct intends or has reason to know that the animal crush video will be transported into the United States or its territories or possessions; or

(2) the animal crush video is transported into the United States or its territories or possessions.

(d) Penalty.--Any person who violates subsection (b) shall be fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 7 years, or both.

(e) Exceptions.--

(1) In general.--This section shall not apply with regard to any visual depiction of--

(A) customary and normal veterinary or agricultural husbandry practices;

(B) the slaughter of animals for food; or

(C) hunting, trapping, or fishing.

(2) Good-faith distribution.--This section shall not apply to the good-faith distribution of an animal crush video to--

(A) a law enforcement agency; or

(B) a third party for the sole purpose of analysis to determine if referral to a law enforcement agency is appropriate.

(f) No preemption.--Nothing in this section shall be construed to preempt the law of any State or local subdivision thereof to protect animals.

CREDIT(S)

(Added Pub.L. 106-152, § 1(a), Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1732, and amended Pub.L. 111-294, § 3(a), Dec. 9, 2010, 124 Stat. 3178.)

 



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