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US court ends animal cruelty law

Published:Tuesday | April 20, 2010 | 6:00 PM

The US Supreme Court has ruled that a law which makes it illegal to sell videos of animals being tortured, violates the right to free speech.

In his ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts said the law was too broad and invalid under the First Amendment.

The 1999 law was intended to prevent depictions of animal cruelty.

It was adopted by the US Congress and was originally aimed at limiting internet sales of videos which show women crushing small animals with high-heeled shoes.

The ruling is a victory for Robert Stevens, who was sentenced to three years in prison in 2005 for making and selling videos of dogfights.