It’s official! Animal cruelty is now a federal felony, after the United States president signed the bill, earlier this week. The bill, known as the PACT act comes against unethical behavior on animals, including non-human mammals, birds, reptiles or amphibians, CBS News reports.

“Passing this legislation is a major victory in the effort to stop animal cruelty and make our communities safer,” a senator told the media. “Evidence shows that the deranged individuals who harm animals often move on to committing acts of violence against people. It is appropriate that the federal government have strong animal cruelty laws and penalties.”

The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate passed the bill in October, therefore it was only a matter of time until it would have become a federal felony. On Monday, the president signed it.

“This bill is particularly important to us as the only humane law enforcement agency in D.C.,” Chris Schindler, vice president at the Humane Rescue Alliance told CBS News. “Our officers investigate thousands of animal cruelty cases each year, but have been unable to truly bring justice for the animals in instances when the cruelty occurs across multiple jurisdictions.”

According to the law, from now on it will be a federal felony “any person to intentionally engage in animal crushing if the animals or animal crushing is in, substantially affects, or uses a means or facility of, interstate or foreign commerce.”

The president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, Kitty Block said it’s a historical day for the American people. “PACT makes a statement about American values. Animals are deserving of protection at the highest level,”he said in a statement. “The approval of this measure by the Congress and the president marks a new era in the codification of kindness to animals within federal law. For decades, a national…law was a dream for animal protectionists. Today, it is a reality.”

h/t: cbsnews