In January, Washington state Sen. Val Stevens re-introduced her proposed bill to increase penalties against animal rights and environmental extremists who attack animal, farm, or timber facilities.
Stevens introduced the bill in 2004, but it never made it out of committee. This time around, Stevens’ bill must be approved out of committee by March 2 or it will be effectively dead.
The bill would make ecoterrorism and animal rights terrorism punishable by up to 10 years in jail.
Washington Farm Bureau spokesman Dean Boyer told The Daily Herald that the extra penalties were needed, saying,
Many of these ecoterrorist acts are staged against agricultural facilities and definitely impact our members. Too often, nobody is ever caught and punished for these acts. If they are caught, we need to be sure there is significant punishment so they won’t do it again.
Jerry Vlasak, on the other hand, told The Daily Herald that the real terrorists aren’t people like him who believe its morally justifiable to kill animal researchers, but rather those who stick animals in cages,
If you want to talk about terrorism, we can talk about terrorism suffered by these animals in their cages.
The full text of the bill can be read here.
Arlington senator targets ecoterrorism. Jerry Cornfield and Yoshiaki Nahara, The Daily Herald, January 27, 2005.