At Friends of Animals, we oppose the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (H.R. 4239), a bill that amends the Animal Enterprise Protection Act (AEPA), now 18 U.S.C. Â§ 43. The AETA will force people into defending their traditional First Amendment rights over activities such as demonstrations, leafleting, and boycotts. The bill is overbroad, vague, and unnecessary. Federal criminal laws already provide a wide range of penalties for all unlawful activities targeted by this bill.
The bill passed the Senate (as S. 3880) and will be before the House in November. We urge our members and guests to oppose this bill.
We continue to urge activists not to support violence or intimidation as a method. It does nothing to change the lawmakers’ mistaken thinking, and indeed gives both lawmakers and industry excuses to support and promote unnecessary, oppressive, and unconstitutional laws. Animal-rights activists should always stand for peace, respect, and clear thinking.