Arizona Governor Vetoes Animal Rights/Environmental Terrorism Legislation

On May 12, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano vetoed legislation that would have modified that state’s racketeering laws to cover some acts of animal rights and environmental terrorism.

The bill would have modified Arizona’s statutory definition of racketeering to read,

1. “Animal activity” means any activity that involves the use of animals or animal parts, including hunting, fishing, trapping, traveling, camping, production, preparation or processing of food or food products, clothing or garment manufacturing, medical or other research, entertainment, recreation, agriculture, biotechnology or any other service involving the use of animals.

2. “Animal facility” includes a vehicle, building, structure, research facility, nature preserve or other premises where an animal is lawfully kept, handled, housed, exhibited, bred or offered for sale, including a zoo, rodeo, circus, amusement park, hunting preserve and horse and dog event.

3. “Animal or ecological terrorism” means any felony, including any completed or preparatory offense, that involves criminal damage, the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument or the intentional, knowing or reckless infliction of serious physical injury with the intent to obstruct, impede or deter any person from participating in a lawful animal activity, from mining, foresting, harvesting, gathering or processing natural resources or from being lawfully present in or on an animal facility or research facility.

In her message vetoing the bill, Napolitano said the bill was “overbroad, unnecessary and susceptible to a host of unintended negative consequences.”

The full text of the vetoed legislation can be read here.


Napolitano vetoes ‘overbroad’ ecoterrorism legislation. Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services, May 13, 2004.

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