Pennsylvania House Bill 213 – Eco-Terrorism

PRIOR PRINTER'S NOS. 215, 1072                PRINTER'S NO. 1177





* No. 213 * * Session of 2005 *







1 Amending Titles 18 (Crimes and Offenses) and 42 (Judiciary and 2 Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated 3 Statutes, adding an offense and a civil action relating to 4 ecoterrorism.

5 The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania 6 hereby enacts as follows: 7 Section 1. Title 18 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated 8 Statutes is amended by adding a section to read: 9 § 3311. Ecoterrorism. 10 (a) General rule.--A person is guilty of ecoterrorism if the 11 person commits an offense against property intending to do any 12 of the following: 13 (1) Intimidate or coerce an individual lawfully: 14 (i) participating in an activity involving animals 15 or an activity involving natural resources; or 16 (ii) using an animal or natural resource facility. 17 (2) Prevent or obstruct an individual from lawfully:


1 (i) participating in an activity involving animals 2 or an activity involving natural resources; or 3 (ii) using an animal or natural resource facility. 4 (b) Grading and penalty.-- 5 (1) If the offense against property is a summary 6 offense, an offense under this section shall be classified as 7 a misdemeanor of the third degree. 8 (2) If the offense against property is a misdemeanor or 9 a felony of the third or second degree, an offense under this 10 section shall be classified one degree higher than the 11 classification of the offense against property specified in 12 section 106 (relating to classes of offenses). 13 (3) If the offense against property is a felony of the 14 first degree, a person convicted of an offense under this 15 section shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment fixed by 16 the court at not more than 40 years and may be sentenced to 17 pay a fine of not more than $100,000. 18 (c) Restitution; costs and fees.--Any person convicted of 19 violating this section shall, in addition to any other penalty 20 imposed, be sentenced to pay the owner of any damaged property, 21 which resulted from the violation, restitution, attorney fees 22 and court costs. Restitution shall be in an amount up to triple 23 the value of the property damages incurred as a result of the 24 offense against property. In ordering restitution pursuant to 25 this subsection, the court shall consider as part of the value 26 of the damaged property the market value of the property prior 27 to the violation and the production, research, testing, 28 replacement and development costs directly related to the 29 property that was the subject of the specified offense. 30 (C.1) IMMUNITY.--A PERSON WHO EXERCISES THE RIGHT OF <-- 20050H0213B1177 - 2 -


1 PETITION OR FREE SPEECH UNDER THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION OR 2 THE CONSTITUTION OF PENNSYLVANIA ON PUBLIC PROPERTY OR WITH THE 3 PERMISSION OF THE LANDOWNER WHERE THE PERSON IS PEACEABLY 4 DEMONSTRATING OR PEACEABLY PURSUING HIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS 5 SHALL BE IMMUNE FROM PROSECUTION FOR THESE ACTIONS UNDER THIS 6 SECTION OR FROM CIVIL LIABILITY UNDER 42 PA.C.S. § 8317 7 (RELATING TO ECOTERRORISM). 8 (d) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following 9 words as phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this 10 subsection: 11 "Activity involving animals." A lawful activity involving 12 the use of animals or animal parts, including any of the 13 following: 14 (1) Activities authorized under 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to 15 fish) and 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to game). 16 (2) Activities authorized under the act of December 7, 17 1982 (P.L.784, No.225), known as the Dog Law. 18 (3) Food production, processing and preparation. 19 (4) Clothing manufacturing and distribution. 20 (5) Entertainment and recreation. 21 (6) Research, teaching and testing. 22 (7) Agricultural activity and farming as defined in 23 section 3309 (relating to agricultural vandalism). 24 "Activity involving natural resources." A lawful activity 25 involving the use of a natural resource with an economic value, 26 including any of the following: 27 (1) Mining, foresting, harvesting or processing natural 28 resources. 29 (2) The sale, loan or lease of products which requires 30 the use of natural resources. 20050H0213B1177 - 3 -


1 "Animal or natural resource facility." A vehicle, building, 2 structure or other premises: 3 (1) where an animal or natural resource is lawfully 4 housed, exhibited or offered for sale; or 5 (2) which is used for scientific purposes involving 6 animals or natural resources, including research, teaching 7 and testing. 8 "Offense against property." An offense under Article C of 9 Part II (relating to offenses against property). 10 Section 2. Title 42 is amended by adding a section to read: 11 § 8317. Ecoterrorism. 12 (a) Civil action and relief.--An individual aggrieved by the 13 offense of ecoterrorism, as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3311(a) 14 (relating to ecoterrorism), may in a civil action in any court 15 of competent jurisdiction obtain appropriate relief, including 16 compensatory and punitive damages, reasonable investigative 17 expenses and reasonable attorney fees and other costs associated 18 with the litigation. Upon a showing of cause for the issuance of 19 injunctive relief, a court may issue temporary restraining 20 orders, preliminary injunctions and permanent injunctions as may 21 be appropriate under this section. During any period that an 22 action under this section is pending, a court may order the 23 cessation of the activity forming the basis of the complaint. 24 (b) Valuations.--In awarding damages under this section, a 25 court shall consider the market value of the property prior to 26 damage and production, research, testing, replacement and 27 development costs directly related to the property that has been 28 damaged as part of the value of the property as well as damage 29 to any records, data and data-gathering equipment or devices. 30 (c) Limitations.--Damages recovered under this section shall 20050H0213B1177 - 4 -


1 be limited to triple the market value of the property prior to 2 damage and actual damages involving production, research, 3 testing, replacement and development costs directly related to 4 the property that has been damaged. 5 Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.

In Pennsylvania, At Least, Turkey Hunting Is Most Dangerous

The March 2005 issue of The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection and Critical care included a study in which researchers examined hunting-related accidents in Pennsylvania from 1987 to 1999. The study found that turkey hunting caused the most accidents, but found an incredibly low rate of accident for all hunting.

Pennsylvania has a Fall turkey season, and over the 12 year period studied by researchers, turkey hunters had an accident rate of 7.5 per 100,000 hunters. Grouse hunters had the lowest accident rate, with just 1.9 per 100,000 hunters.

Deer hunting accidents were, however, the most likely to result in fatalities with fully 10.3 percent of hunting accidents resulting in a death.

The research found that poor judgment was, in general, the biggest cause of hunting accidents except for deer hunting where poor skills were the most common cause of accidents.

Since the risk of accidents were higher among those under 20 than older hunters, the study recommended more safety instruction. It also recommended the reintroduction of requirements that hunters wear orange clothing, noting that hunting accidents had been declining after the introduction of such a requirement, but began increasing again following the lifting of that requirement in Pennsylvania.


Hunting-Related Shooting Incidents in Pennsylvania, 1987-1999. Joseph L. Smith, MD, et al, Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection and Critical Care, 58(3):582-590, March 2005.

Study finds turkey hunting is most dangerous. Mark Scolforo, Associated Press, March 10, 2005.

Man Convicted of Selling Dogfighting Tapes

In what is believed to be the first test of the law, a Virginia man was convicted in Pennsylvania in January for selling dogfighting videos.

A jury took just 45 minutes to convict Robert Stevens, 64, of three counts of selling videos that depict animal cruelty. This is believed to be the first prosecution under a 1999 law banning such videos.

Stevens did not attempt to dispute the facts in the case, but instead his lawyer argued that the videos are protected under the First Amendment. The law makes exceptions for videos that have “serious religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic, historical or artistic value,” and Stevens’ attorney argued that the dogfighting videos had historical value, though the jury disagreed with him.

Another interesting twist is that some of the videos were filmed in Japan, where dogfighting is apparently not illegal.

There was no indication as to whether or not Stevens plans to appeal his conviction. He’d probably have a number of avenues for such an appeal, including that when the law was originally passed and signed into law by President Bill Clinton, it was clearly intended to outlaw “crush” videos in which animals are trampled to death for the sexual gratification of the viewer. Here, however, even the prosecution conceded there was no sexual intent to the videos distributed by Stevens.


Ban on videos of animal cruelty tested. Torsten Ove, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 12, 2005.

Virginia man guilty of selling depictions of animal cruelty. Torsten Ove, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 14, 2005.

Gary Yourofsky's State-of-the-Art in Pro-Vegan Arguments

When he’s not busy saying that he would unequivocally support the murder of people working in animal enterprises, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals spokesman Gary Yourofksy travels the country with Kate Timko trying to talk students at universities into switching to veganism.

Don’t worry, though, the foray into institutes of higher learning won’t change Yourofsky. The Daily Pennsylvanian, for example, reports that Yourofsky offered the following as an example to buttress his claim that human beings weren’t meant to eat meat,

Put a 2-year-old in a crib with a bunny rabbit and an apple. If the child eats the bunny rabbit and plays with the apple, I’ll buy you a new car.

Wow — PETA’s really getting their money’s worth out of Yourofsky. Yourofsky told The Daily Pennsylvanian that he converts 2-5 people a day to veganism. With arguments like that, I’m surprised he isn’t closer to 4-10 people a day!

Meanwhile, Timko manages to make meat eating sound exciting. The Daily Pennsylvanian quoted Timko as saying,

Eating meat really does mean eating dead animals. It means that your body is transformed into a walking animal graveyard.

Who knew that eating meat meant eating dead animals? You learn something new everyday.

On the other hand, that image of a walking animal graveyard sounds pretty cool. It’d make a great horror film (Pet Sematary 3 anyone?)


Animal rights activists hype veganism. Alanna Kaufman, The Daily Pennsylvanian, September 27, 2004.

Activists Accept Fine in Pennsylvania Protest Case

Nine adult activists arrested in a May 29 protest plead guilty to reduced charges of harassment and disorderly conduct charges and agreed to pay $400 fine stemming from their actions.

Two of the protesters, Nicholas Cooney and Alexandra Deyo, had been charged with a corruption of minors, but that charge was dropped after the minor in question testified that she participated in the protest willingly and that her parents knew she was going to attend an animal rights protest, although they were unaware of the exact location of the protest. Saying that the state had failed to prove intent, Judge Daniel Maisano threw out the charges.

After testimony about the protest, Maisano reduced the charges based in part on his view that the protest was poorly organized. In issuing the $400 fines, Maisano told the activists,

It’s my understanding that this was the most poorly organized protest I’ve seen. I can’t tell you not to go to his street and stand there with signs, because if you do it the right way, it’s legal. I am going to say, you shouldn’t do it. You have to balance your rights with others.’

Along with Cooney and Deyo, other activists fined included Ian Ross, Lawrence Toft, Ethan Wolf, Christopher Price, Janice Angelillo, Kristine Marusic, and David Lambon.


Animal rights activists to pay fine. Jill Nawrocki, The Daily Local (Pennsylvania), September 22, 2004.

Activists Protest Outside Glaxo CEO's Home

About 30 animal rights activists associated with a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania group called Hugs for Puppies demonstrated outside the home of GlaxoSmithKline chief executive officer Jean-Pierre Garnier. Garnier was out of town at the time.

According to the London Telegraph, about 30 protesters chanted and marched on the street outside Garnier’s home while police looked on.

Organizer Alexandra Deyo told The Telegraph that the protest was a response to Garnier’s recent characterization of activists as cowards. Deyo said,

He’s only been speaking to the British media against animal rights groups and has been speaking like he’s a victim when he actually lives in the US.

Deyo is apparently referring to a July interview that Garnier gave to the Telegraph in which he said,

I take it [animal rights violence] extremely personally. When your general counsel has to go into hiding in some apartment and has to move out of his house with his young children because he has been threatened, you do take that personally.

Apparently empathy for other people is an alien emotion to activists like Deyo.

Deyo, by the way, is one of the activist who was arrested in June and charged with criminal conspiracy, harassment, disorderly conduct and child endangerment in connection with a protest she organized that targeted an executive with Johnson Matthey Pharmaceutical Materials.


Animal rights stand-off at Garnier home. Dominic White, The Telegraph (London), August 23, 2004.