1. Definitions. For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Infectious agents" shall be limited to those organisms that cause serious physical injury or death to humans.
(b) "Animal" means any warm or cold-blooded animal or insect which is being used in food or fiber production, agriculture, research, testing, or education, however, shall not include any animal held primarily as a pet.
(c) "Facility" means any building, structure, laboratory, vehicle, pasture, paddock, pond, impoundment or premises where any scientific research, test, experiment, production, education, or investigation involving the use of any animal is carried out, conducted or attempted or where records or documents relating to an animal or animal research, tests, experiments, production, education or investigation are maintained.
(d) "Release" means to intentionally set free from any facility any animal without any right, title, or claim thereto.
(e) "Abandonment" means the intentional relinquishment or forsaking of possession or control of any animal released from a facility.
(f) "Person" means any individual, firm, organization, partnership, association or corporation.
(g) "Secret scientific material" means a sample, culture, micro-organism, specimen, record, recording, document, drawing or any other article, material, device or substance which constitutes, represents, evidences, reflects, or records a scientific or technical process, invention or formula or any part or phase thereof which is stored, tested, studied or examined in any facility, and which is not, and not intended to be, available to anyone other than the person or persons rightfully in possession thereof or selected persons having access thereto with his or their consent, and when it accords or may accord such rightful possessors an advantage over competitors or other persons who do not have knowledge or the benefit thereof.
(h) "Notice" means to provide information in such detail to make a reasonable person aware of the presence in a facility of infectious agents or secret scientific material.
2. Notice. Any person who, after notice has been given by:
(a) actual notice in writing or orally to the person; or
(b) prominently posting written notice upon or immediately adjacent to the facility; or
(c) notice that is announced upon entry to the facility by any person:
(i) knowingly or intentionally releases an animal from a facility or causes the abandonment of an animal knowing that such animal was exposed to infectious agents prior to such release or abandonment and was capable of transmitting such infectious agents to humans; or
(ii) with intent to do so, causes loss or damage to secret scientific material, and having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right, causes loss of or damage to any secret scientific material in an amount in excess of two hundred fifty dollars at a facility, shall be guilty of unlawful tampering with animal research. Unlawful tampering with animal research is a class E felony punishable in accordance with the penal law.
3. Private right of action. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be liable in any court of competent jurisdiction, including small claims court, in an amount equal to:
(a) Damages sustained as a result of such violation or fifty dollars, whichever is greater, for each violation;
(b) Such additional punitive damages as the court may allow;
(c) Attorney's fees and costs; and
(d) Cost of duplicating any experiment which was damaged by the unlawful tampering with animal research, if applicable.
In any action brought by any person to enforce this section, the court may, subject to its jurisdiction, issue an injunction to restrain or prevent any violation of this section or any continuance of any such violation.
(Added L.1991, c. 609, § 1.)