WASHINGTON, D.C - Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives have passed legislation they say will help prevent animal cruelty and torture in all 50 states.

Animal Activists say the PACT Act would remove a loop-hole in an existing law passed in 2010.

Representatives from the Humane Society say the PACT Act has passed the Senate twice but stopped there. They hope new leadership in the house will push this legislation forward.

The PACT Act stands for Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture. It was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday and if passed by the Senate, would make certain acts of animal cruelty a federal felony. The Humane Society of the United States says the legislation, “would make it a federal crime to commit malicious cruelty to an animal on federal property or interstate commerce.”

"It is huge," said Oklahoma Alliance for Animals President Jamee Suarez-Howard. "It is going to allow federal jurisdiction to come in and take care of some of these animal cruelty acts that are probably a little more difficult for the state level to handle."

The Humane Society of the United States says the PACT Act would take away a loophole in a existing law passed in 2010.

"I just think that this bill will send a clear message that cruelty is just not tolerated," said Jamee Suarez-Howard.

Leadership from the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals says major progress has been made when it comes to animal cruelty laws on a state level here in Oklahoma but the issues are far from over.

"I think we can do a lot more for animals in Oklahoma and I think we need to because to me it seems like it is just getting worse," said Jamee Suarez-Howard.