I thought it was a stretch. I don't think do anymore...
From Out of Context:
Earlier this year, Sen. Allen Christensen took some heat for opposing a bill that would make it a felony to torture an animal. He was back during the Special Session with his own bill that critics say significantly watered down the existing law.
For example, under Christensen's bill, it would not be illegal to intentionally injure an animal, unless it involves "serious injury."
Here's how the legislation defines serious injury:
"'Serious injury' means bodily injury that: creates or causes serious permanent disfigurement; creates or causes protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ; creates substantial risk of death; or causes death."
That language sounded a little familiar. Let's see, where have I read that before? Oh yeah. Here:
"We conclude that for an act to constitute torture as defined in Section 2340, it must inflict pain that is difficult to endure. Physical pain amounting to torture must be equivalent to intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death."
That's from the now-famous "torture memo" by former Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee that set the bar on what the Bush administration does and does not consider torture.