“Animal terrorism” bill vetoed
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, April 2005:
PHOENIX–Arizona Goveror Janet Napolitano on March 14 for the
second year in a row vetoed a bill by state senator Thayer Verschoor
(R-Gilbert) which would have authorized use of state
anti-racketeering legislation to pursue animal advocates and
environmentalists who commit alleged acts of terrorism.
“It is already against the law to injure someone or damage
property,” summarized Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services in
describing Napolitano’s veto statement. “The legislation would have
expanded the racketeering laws to cover those acts if they were
designed to deter people from participating in lawful “animal
activities,” ranging from mining and forestry to hunting and animal
Napolitano noted that parts of the Verschoor bill could have
been used against people who picket abortion clinics. She pledged to
help Verschoor and Arizona attorney general Terry Goddard “to craft a
bill that targets intentional and well-defined animal and ecological
Ohio state senator Jeff Jacobson acknowledged to Carrie
Spencer of Associated Press that he copied the language of the
Verschoor bill in a similar bill he recently introduced after finding
it on the Internet.
The Verschoor bill was based on draft “Animal and Ecological
Terrorism Act” authored by the Ohio-based U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance.
It has been offered to state legislators for introduction since 2003
by the far-right American Legislative Exchange Council. Amended
versions are in effect in California and Washington. Versions under
consideration in New York and Missouri, where such bills have
already been defeated twice in two years, would outlaw videotaping
at farms and laboratories.