September 30, 2006
WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee together with Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Cal.), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today hailed Senate passage of bi-partisan legislation that will enhance the effectiveness of the U.S. Department of Justice’s response to recent trends in the animal rights terrorist movement. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) was drafted with technical assistance from counter-terror experts at the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Sen. Inhofe Statement:
“The Senate last night provided law enforcement the tools they need to adequately combat radical animal rights extremists’ who commit violent acts against innocent people because they work with animals. This bill is an important step in the effort to combat animal rights extremists’ increasingly violent tactics. We can no longer tolerate criminally based activism regardless of the cause it allegedly advances. This is terrorism and must be stopped.”
Senator Feinstein Statement:
“Passage of this act will help put an end to the deplorable actions of animal rights extremists and help ensure that eco-terrorists do not impede important medical progress in California and across the country.”
Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act:
The AETA gives needed protection to scientists, medical researchers, ranchers, farmers, and any other industry involving animals by expanding current law to address violent tactics used by animal rights extremists to frighten law abiding citizens away from their work.
Prohibiting the animal rights extremists’ violent tactics will ensure that important animal enterprises, like biomedical industries, stay in California for example, rather than go to India or China.
The AETA gives law enforcement the tools they need to adequately combat radical animal rights extremists’ who commit violent acts against innocent people because they work with animals. This is terrorism and cannot be tolerated.
· The AETA was introduced after the EPW Committee held two hearings on the issue.
· The AETA has express first amendment protections.
· The AETA has a staggered penalty structure to meet varying levels of violent offenses.
· The AETA carries a penalty of life imprisonment for the death of an individual resulting from animal rights extremists’ dangerous tactics.