Bush signs Animal Terrorism Act into law
By Elizabeth Daley, Bay City News Service
November 28, 2006
Sen. Dianne Feinstein announced Monday President Bush signed
into law the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, a bill that can
potentially criminalize interference with an "animal enterprise,"
including interference with commercial and academic institutions
that may use animals for testing or research.
According to Feinstein's office, universities and research facilities
such as the University of California San Francisco campus have
been targeted by animal activist groups, causing them to spend
more than $2.5 million dollars to increase security at their research
Dr. Elliot Katz, veterinarian and founder of In Defense of Animals,
says the law unfairly targets animal rights activists by placing
restrictions on their protests not placed on protests conducted
by other groups.
"I am proud to be an activist," said Katz, "I
am not a terrorist."
Katz said, "The bill reads: if you do something illegal
that affects the economics of a company then you can be punished."
Katz said he fears this may include actions such as civil disobedience.
According to Feinstein's office, the law "establishes graded
penalties of up to life imprisonment, depending on the financial
damage or level of bodily injury caused by such conduct."
Feinstein says the law "confronts these threats in a manner
that gives due protections under the First Amendment." Katz
"This law proves that industries are profiting from animals
and they don't want to lose the profits that they make on the
backs of animals," he said. "They want to intimidate
people who care about other species."
Copyright © 2006 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication,
Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent
of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.