The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA)

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Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA)

Policy: The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act amends the Animal Enterprise Protection Act of 1992 and gives the U.S. Department of Justice greater authority to target animal rights activists. The law broadens the definition of animal enterprise to include "academic and commercial enterprises that use or sell animals or animal products". It also increases the existing penalties, including penalties based on the amount of economic damage caused, including brand reputation damage, and allows animal enterprises to seek compensation.The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act criminalizes damage or interference with an animal enterprise if any property is lost or damaged, any person is placed in “reasonable fear” of
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If you think about it, property damage is already illegal as well as trespassing and threats of violence. If this is the case, this law really serves no purpose. However, that's when you get to the broadness of the law. Under this law, it is technically legal to prosecute someone because of damage they have conducted to your brand via animal activism and even prosecute people for actions they didn't take part of as long as they can show a "connection" that would fall under the conspiracy charge of the law. The fact that filming agricultural abuse toward animals and sharing the video with others makes the person filming the abuse a criminal and not those conducting the abuse or the companies sanctioning the abuse shows the laws extreme irony and corporate influence. In the end, who does this law really protect? Companies that produce unhealthy food and sanction animal abuse, or the average …show more content…
This classification is clearly set to criminalize and silence any form of animal rights activism. This law is unconstitutional because it is extremely broad and vague lacking definitions of what a "conspiracy" is concentered and what counts as "damage". Most people who engage in traditional forms of protest would unknowingly violate the seemingly limitless boundaries the law sets. Protest techniques that have been used for years such as, sit-ins, pickets, strikes, and marches, are now acts of terrorism if they cause profit loss to a single animal industry, or even if it hypothetically causes a financial loss. It's obvious, the AETA is designed to silence animal rights advocates from exercising their First Amendment rights. By labeling anyone who “interferes” with an industry's profits as a terrorist, and by imposing prison sentences and fines on those convicted under the law, the AETA will deter those who simply want to peacefully advocate for the welfare of animals. Regardless of one's political and ethical position, animal rights is a topic that deserves to be publicly debated. The AETA purposely silences this discussion by placing corporate profits over public discussion. If we don’t kill the AETA, there is nothing preventing industry groups from continuing to lobby for legislation that criminalizes the First Amendment. If we don't push back now other

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