ANIMAL ENTERPRISE PROTECTION ACT AMENDMENT -- HON. GEORGE W. GEKAS (Extension of Remarks - September 15, 1993)
HON. GEORGE W. GEKAS
in the House of Representatives
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1993
- Mr. GEKAS. Mr. Speaker, last year the Congress passed the `Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992'--Public Law 102-346--in response to a growing national trend of violence perpetrated by animal rights extremists on the agricultural and scientific research communities. This law now provides an important Federal statute against these costly and destructive acts.
- Unfortunately, a disturbing new trend has developed which the original bill did not thoroughly cover. Individuals have now become the targets of violent and life-threatening attacks by animal rights extremists. Individuals, family members, and personal property have been increasingly intimidated and victimized through the use of tactics typically associated with terrorist organizations. According to the September 1993, U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Agriculture, Report to Congress on the Extent and Effects of Domestic and International Terrorism on Animal Enterprises, `. . . the most disturbing pattern to emerge during the period in question was that individuals and their personal property were targeted with increasing frequency (p. 9).'
- Evidence of this trend is clear: On April 29, 1993, in the State of Maryland the homes of five researchers were attacked by animal rights extremists. In my home State of Pennsylvania, Dr. Adrian Morrison researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, has been consistently terrorized through both physical and psychological intimidation. Our fears are further perpetuated by Animal Liberation Front statements such as: `I would be overjoyed when the first scientist is killed by a liberation activist,' Vivien Smith, Animal Liberation Front, The Saturday Times Review, November 7, 1992.
- Mr. Speaker, I find such attacks and statement not only unsettling but perverse enough to warrant legislative action. Therefore, today I am introducing legislation in response to this trend of personal victimization by animal rights extremists. My legislation amends the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992, to include person and personal property of those persons engaging in an animal enterprise. My bill is offered based on findings from the September 1993, U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Agriculture Report to Congress on the Extent and Effects of Domestic and International Terrorism on Animal Enterprises, which documents this growing trend of personal victimization: `All of the extremist acts that have been directed against individual researchers have involved either threats against their person or family members or vandalism to their personal property or both.'
- My amendment is designed to protect individuals engaging in an animal enterprise, such as farmers and researchers, from senseless acts of violence. My amendment has already received enthusiastic support from professionals in these fields, and today I ask my colleagues for their support and cosponsorship of this legislation. For those of my colleagues who may have constituents in their districts employed in such industries as dairy, meat production, pet shops, textiles, medical research, pharmaceutical production, high-technology research and development, universities, health care, or countless other industries linked to an animal enterprise, I especially urge your consideration and support of this legislation.