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Farm Lobby in Victoria, Australia, Wants an Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act

Photo by Maqi

Photo by Maqi

Those who peddle influence on behalf of the agriculture industry in the Australian state of Victoria would like elected officials there to enact legislation similar to the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which was signed into law in the United States in 2006.

As I’ve pointed out previously, language on the Office of Legislative Policy and Analysis website explains that “the intended targets of (the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act) are a subset of animal rights activists and environmental activists, sometimes called ecoterrorists, who engage in acts of force, violence, and threats involving animal enterprises. … (The law does not prohibit any expressive conduct, such as peaceful picketing or other peaceful demonstrations, protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.)”

And as I wrote in my April 19 commentary, “that ‘targeting’ scheme was codified on behalf of agricultural and pharmaceutical interests. The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act and state adaptations thereof are relatively little-known, redundant and discriminatory pieces of legislation that most Americans would rail against if they understood the laws’ dangerous implications.”

According to an Oct. 10 report in the Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia), “Victoria’s peak farming body is calling on the State Government to introduce tough new laws which would see unlawful animal activists jailed and receive hefty fines. The Victorian Farmers Federation says the laws, similar to those which operate in the U.S., would impose harsher penalties on rogue activists, including jail sentences of up to 20 years.”

On its website, the Victorian Farmers Federation boasts that its “members … provide the power to effectively influence all levels of government on the wide range of issues that impact on modern farming.”

In the United States in 2006, the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act sailed virtually unchallenged through the legislative process, its sycophantic shepherds hardly having to get their hands dirty (their common morality is another story altogether).

While righteous efforts to repeal the sinister AETA are ongoing in the United States, folks in Victoria, Australia, who don’t want to see the walls around the killing floors fortified should destroy their flimsy foundations.

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