A viral video of two boys beating an injured deer that had been shot has prompted an investigation by the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

In the video, which was reportedly filmed in Brookville, Pennsylvania, the boys can be seen kicking the buck in the face, ripping off its antlers and stepping on its throat, all while the animal is alive. 

As the assault takes place, the boys can be heard laughing and asking each other if the deer is still alive. 

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On Sunday, the video was uploaded to Facebook, where it was shared more than 8,000 times. 

In response to the video, the Pennsylvania Game Commission has said it is “currently investigating the matter”.

“The Pennsylvania Game Commission is aware of a video purporting to show individuals assaulting an injured deer,” the state agency wrote on social media. “The conduct portrayed in the video is reprehensible and potentially a violation of the law.”

The agency also asked that anyone with information related to the incident report it to the Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-888–PGC-8001 or the Game Commission’s Northwest Region Dispatch Office at 814-432-3187.

Last week, President Trump signed a bipartisan bill that makes animal cruelty a federal crime punishable with fines and up to seven years in prison. Laws in all 50 states already include felony provisions for animal cruelty, but the new bill would help prosecutors address cases of animal abuse across state lines, according to animal rights groups. 

The bill does not apply to people who kill animals for food or to those who hunt, trap and fish, however. 

The Independent has contacted the Pennsylvania Game Commission for comment.

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