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Congress passes animal terrorism bill

Legislation gives additional legal protection to scientists and companies that provide services and support for animal research

Ted Agres
At the start of its post-election "lame duck" session, the US House of Representatives has passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (S 3880), a bill that expands protection for scientists by outlawing economic damage against "animal enterprises," including organizations involved in academic and commercial research and testing. President Bush is expected to sign the bill soon.The House adopted by voice vote on Monday the legislation that the Senate passed by unanimous consent in September. The measure provides a graduated scale of prison time and fines for people found guilty of harassing, intimidating, trespassing against or vandalizing the property of anyone associated with animal research. The bill also affords protection to so-called "tertiary" targets: third-parties such as customers, bankers, accountants, insurance providers, and other service providers, who have been targeted by militant animal rights activists in the US and UK. "It's terrific," said Frankie Trull, president of the National Association...

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