INHOFE INTRODUCES ANIMAL ENTERPRISE TERRORISM ACT
S. 1926 Will Provide Federal Authorities With the Necessary Tools to Help Prevent, and Better Investigate and Prosecute Eco-terror Cases
WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee, has introduced legislation that will enhance the effectiveness of the U.S. Department of Justice’s response to recent trends in the animal rights terrorist movement. S. 1926, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, was drafted with technical assistance from counter-terror experts at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“The chilling testimony embracing assassination and destruction that we heard from the ‘spokesman’ of the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty eco-terror group only points to the need for a tightening of current law for authorities to be to able to prevent future activities, and to better investigate and prosecute eco-terror cases,” Senator Inhofe said. “S. 1926 specifically addresses the ‘tertiary targeting’ tactic employed by eco-terrorists by prohibiting intentional damage of property belonging to a person or organization with ties to an animal enterprise. Currently, only the animal enterprise itself is covered by law. The bill also increases penalties for intentional economic disruption or damage, and for intentionally causing bodily harm or placing a person in reasonable fear of death or bodily harm.”
On Wednesday, the Committee convened a hearing on eco-terrorism, specifically examining the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty group.
The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act:
Amends the Animal Enterprise Protection Act and enhances the effectiveness of the Department of Justice’s response to recent trends in the animal rights terrorist movement.
Addresses the “tertiary targeting” or “third party targeting” system used by animal rights terrorists by prohibiting the intentional damaging of property of a person or entity having a connection to, relationship with, or transactions with an animal enterprise. Previously, only the animal enterprise itself was covered by the law.
Prohibits veiled threats to individuals and their families. It prohibits intentionally placing a person in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury to that person or their family because of their relationship with an animal enterprise.
Increases penalties for intentionally causing economic disruption or damage and for intentionally causing a person bodily injury or intentionally placing a person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury.
Broadens the definition of animal enterprise to include a commercial enterprise that uses or sell animals or animal products for profit or otherwise including animal shelters, breeders, pet stores, and furriers.
Makes crimes under the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act eligible for Title 3 electronic surveillance.
Defines the term “economic damage,” which includes the loss of property, costs associated with a lost experiment, or lost profits.
Defines the term “economic disruption,” which means losses or increased costs resulting from threats, acts of violence, property damage, trespass, harassment, or intimidation taking against a person or entity on account of their relationship with an animal enterprise. This does not include lawful boycott.