Ecoterrorism or Agroterrorism: Related Statutes

Statute by category Citationsort ascending Summary
WA - Ecoterrorism - 4.24.570. Acts against animals in research or educational facilities West's RCWA 4.24.570 - 580

These Washington sections concern interference with animal research or educational facilities as well as facilities that keep animals for agricultural or veterinary purposes. Both sections provide that any person or organization that plans or assists in the development of a plan to commit an intentional tort described in the laws is liable for damages to the same extent as a person who has committed the tort. However, membership in a liable organization does not in itself establish the member's liability under this subsection. Section 4.24.580 allows an individual employed with an animal facility to obtain injunctive relief if he or she has reason to believe that he or she may be injured. This includes obtaining an injunction to prevent harassment.

FL - Ecoterrorism - Florida Animal Enterprise Protection Act West's F. S. A. § 828.40 - 43

This set of laws comprises the Florida Animal Enterprise Protection Act. Under the Act, a person who intentionally causes physical disruption to the property, personnel, or operations of an animal enterprise by intentionally stealing, damaging, or causing the loss of, any property, including animals or records, used by the animal enterprise, and thereby causes economic damage, commits a felony of the third degree.

CA - Zoo - § 602.13. Entering animal enclosure at zoo, circus, or traveling animal exhibit; punishment; exceptions; other prosec West's Ann. Cal. Penal Code § 602.13

This law makes it an infraction for a person to enter into an animal enclosure at a zoo, circus, or traveling animal exhibit if that facility is licensed or permitted to display animals and if it posts signs prohibiting entrance into the animal enclosures.

WY - Ecoterrorism - § 6-3-414. Trespassing to Unlawfully Collect Resource Data W. S. 1977 § 6-3-414 This statute prohibits trespassing to unlawfully collect resource data. Collecting resource data is done by entering onto open land without an ownership interest or permission to collect information or photograph resource data (including animal species). Violation of this law is punishable by imprisonment of not more than one year and/or a $1,000 fine for the first offense, and imprisonment from ten days to a year and/or a $5,000 fine for subsequent offenses.
MO - Ecoterrorism - Chapter 578. Miscellaneous Offenses. Animal Research and Production Facilities V. A. M. S. 578.405 - 578.412

This chapter comprises "The Animal Research and Production Facilities Protection Act." The act prohibits anyone from releasing, stealing, or otherwise intentionally causing the death, injury, or loss of any animal at or from an animal facility. It also prohibits any person from damaging, vandalizing, or stealing any property in or on an animal facility, or obtaining access to an animal facility by false pretenses for the purpose of performing acts not authorized by the facility. Generally, violation is a misdemeanor if the loss is less than $300 and a felony if it exceeds that amount.  Any person who has been damaged by a violation of section 578.407 may recover all actual and consequential damages, punitive damages, and court costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, from the person causing such damage.

UT - Ag gag - § 76-6-112. Agricultural operation interference--Penalties U.C.A. 1953 § 76-6-112

This Utah law creates the crime of "agricultural operation interference ." A person commits agricultural operation interference if he or she records an image or sound from an agricultural operation by leaving a recording device without consent, obtains access to an agricultural operation under false pretenses, applies for employment with the intent to record, or without consent intentionally records the operation while committing criminal trespass.

UT - Ecoterrorism - § 76-6-110. Offenses committed against animal enterprises--Definitions--Enhanced penalties U.C.A. 1953 § 76-6-110

This section comprises Utah's animal enterprise interference law. A person who commits any criminal offense with the intent to halt, impede, obstruct, or interfere with the lawful operation of an animal enterprise or to damage, take, or cause the loss of any property owned by, used by, or in the possession of a lawful animal enterprise, is subject to an enhanced penalty. These penalties enhancements raise the level of the crime one degree (e.g., a class C misdemeanor becomes a class B misdemeanor and a class A misdemeanor becomes a third degree felony).

TN - Ecoterrorism - Part 8. Farm Animal and Research Facilities Protection T. C. A. § 39-14-801 - 806

This chapter comprises the Tennessee Farm Animal and Research Facilities Protection Act. A person commits an offense if, without consent, the person exercises control over an animal facility, an animal from an animal facility, or other property from an animal facility with the intent to deprive the owner of the facility, animal, or property and to disrupt the enterprise conducted at the animal facility. Other offenses include destruction of property, including freeing of animals located there, or entering an animal facility with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise or its property. A violation is a Class C felony if the person exercises control over the facility or the damage is $500 or more. A violation is a Class B misdemeanor if the damage is less than $500 or the person illegally enters the facility with intent to damage it. Any person who has been damaged by reason of a violation of this part may recover all actual and consequential damages, punitive damages, and court costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, from the person causing the damage.

SD - Ecoterrorism - Chapter 40-38. Protection of Animal Facilities S D C L § 40-38-1 - 5

This chapter comprises South Dakota's animal enterprise interference laws. Under the section, it is illegal for a person to intentionally damage or destroy an animal facility, an animal, or property in or on the animal facility; exercise control over the animal facility or an animal located therein; enter the animal facility with the intent to commit prohibited acts; enter an animal facility and remain concealed with the intent to commit prohibited acts; or intentionally release an animal on an animal facility. Violation is a misdemeanor of varying degrees if the damaged property value is less than $1,000 and a Class 4 felony if above $1,000. Any person who violates subdivisions 40-38-2(2) to (5), inclusive, is guilty of a Class 4 felony.

OH - Ecoterrorism - Chapter 2923. Conspiracy, Attempt, and Complicity; Weapons Control. Corrupt Activity. R.C. § 2923.31 - 2923.36

This Ohio law define “Animal or ecological terrorism” as the commission of any felony that involves causing or creating a substantial risk of physical harm to any property of another, the use of a deadly weapon or dangerous ordnance, or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly causing serious physical harm to property and that involves an intent to obstruct, impede, or deter any person from participating in a lawful animal activity, from mining, foresting, harvesting, gathering, or processing natural resources, or from being lawfully present in or on an animal facility or research facility.

ND - Ecoterrorism - Chapter 12.1-21.1. Animal Research Facility Damage NDCC 12.1-21.1-01 to 05

This chapter concerns unlawful interference with animal facilities. Under the section, a person may not intentionally damage or destroy an animal facility or the property or animals located therein; exercise control over the animals or property; enter an animal facility not open to the public with the intent on committing prohibited acts; enter a facility and remain concealed to commit prohibited acts; or intentionally release an animal at a facility. Violation is a class B felony if damage is $10,000 or more, a class C felony if the damage is at least $500 to under $10,000, and a class A misdemeanor if damage is less than $500. Entering an animal facility and using or attempting to use a camera, video recorder, or any other video or audio recording equipment is a class B misdemeanor.

NC - Ecoterrorism - § 99A-1. Recovery of Damages for Exceeding the Scope of Authorized Access to Property N.C.G.S.A. § 99A-1, 2

This law is known as North Carolina’s Property Protection Act and is what many consider to be a new variation of ag-gag law. § 99A-2 imposes a civil punishment for “exceeding the scope of authorized access to property.” A person exceeds access to authority by intentionally gaining access to the non-public areas of another’s premises and removing (and subsequently distributing) documents, recording images or sounds, placing a camera on the premises, conspiring in organized retail theft, or interfering with property. The punishment for violation of the Property Protection Act can result in equitable relief, compensatory damages, costs and fees, and exemplary damages of $5,000 per day that a defendant has acted in violation. The law is effective January 1, 2016.

MS - Ecoterrorism - Animal Research or Exhibiting Facilities Protection Act Miss. Code Ann. § 69-29-301 to 69-29-315

This section comprises Mississippi's Animal Research or Exhibiting Facilities Protection Act. The act prohibits a person, without the effective consent of the owner, to acquire or otherwise exercise control over an animal facility with the intent to deprive the owner of the facility, animal or property and to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility. A person is also prohibited from entering and remaining concealed at a facility with the intent to damage or disrupt the facility. Violation for damaging a facility is a fine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 3 years. Violation for illegal entry with an intent to damage or disrupt the facility results in a fine of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment up to 1 year.

MD - Ecoterrorism - Title 6. Crimes Against Property. MD Code, Criminal Law, § 6-208

This law reflects Maryland's "ecoterrorism"/animal research interference law. A person may not break and enter a research facility without the permission of the research facility with the intent to: obtain unauthorized control over research property; alter or eradicate research property; damage or deface research property; move research property in a manner intended to cause harm to it; destroy or remove research property; or engage in conduct that results in the removal of research property. Violation of the law is a felony with imprisonment of up to 5 years or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

NY - Research, animal - Article 5. Laboratories. Title I. General Provisions: State Laboratories; Approved Laboratories. McKinney's Public Health Law § 500 - 506

The group of statutes provides that the commissioner shall require laboratories and research facilities to treat all animals used in testing humanely, provide food and suitable housing, and that any experiments that inflict or involve pain shall be performed with anesthesia.  Each research facility shall be inspected by the commissioner in order to ensure compliance with said rules.  In addition, the statutes provide that alternative animal testing methods be utilized when the alternative has been scientifically validated and recommended by the Inter-Agency Coordinating Committee for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM) and adopted by the appropriate federal agency.

NY - Ecoterrorism - § 378. Unlawful tampering with animal research McKinney's Agriculture and Markets Law § 378 This New York law comprises the state's ecoterrorism provision. A person who has been given "notice," as defined by the law, is guilty of the crime of "unlawful tampering with animal research" if he or she: (1) 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 (2) 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.
MT - Ecoterrorism - Chapter 30. Protection of Farm Animals and Research Facilities MCA 81-30-101 to 81-30- 105

This chapter comprises Montana's “Farm Animal and Research Facilities Protection Act." Unlawful acts include exercising control over a facility without consent, damaging or destroying the property of an animal facility, entering an animal facility with the intent to commit a prohibited act, entering an animal facility to take pictures by photograph, video camera, or other means with the intent to commit criminal defamation, and entering an animal facility if the person knows entry is forbidden. A person who has been damaged by reason of a violation of 81-30-103 may bring against the person who caused the damage an action in the district court to recover  an amount equal to three times all actual and consequential damages; and court costs and reasonable attorney fees.

LA - Ecoterrorism - Chapter 2. Miscellaneous Crimes and Offenses. LA R.S. 14:228, 228.1

This law is Louisiana's interference with animal research facilities or animal management facilities law. It is unlawful for any person to: intentionally release, steal, or otherwise cause the loss of any animal from an animal research facility or an animal management facility. to damage, vandalize, or steal any property from or on an animal research facility or an animal management facility; to obtain access by false pretenses for the purpose of performing prohibited acts; to break and enter with the intent to destroy, alter, duplicate, or obtain unauthorized possession of records, data, materials, equipment, or animals; to enter or remain on an animal research facility or an animal management facility with the intent to commit prohibited acts; or to knowingly obtain or exert unauthorized control, by theft or deception, over records, data, material, equipment, or animals. A person violating this law shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned, with or without hard labor, for not more than one year, or both. A companion section (228.1) prohibits the unauthorized release of any animal, bird, or aquatic species which has been lawfully confined for agriculture, science, research, commerce, public propagation, protective custody, or education.

KY - Ecoterrorism - Chapter 437. Offenses Against Public Peace KRS § 437.410 - 429

This chapter concerns the protection of animal enterprise facilities in Kentucky. Prohibited acts include exercising control over a facility or its property without consent of the owner, disruption or destruction of property of a facility, entering a facility with the intent to commit a prohibited act, and entering a facility with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise and then remaining on the grounds knowing that entry is forbidden. Any person who violates any provision of KRS 437.410 to 437.420 shall be subject to a fine of not more than $5,000 or imprisoned for not less than 6 months but not more than 1 year, or both, for each violation.

KS - Ecoterrorism - Chapter 47. Livestock and Domestic Animals. K. S. A. 47-1825 - 1830

This section comprises Kansas' farm animal and field crop and research facilities protection act. Under the act, no person shall, without the effective consent of the owner and with the intent to damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility, damage or destroy an animal facility or any animal or property in or on an animal facility. A person is also prohibited from exercising control over an animal or property. The act makes it illegal for a person to enter an animal facility that is not open to the public to take pictures or video. Violation is a nonperson felony if the property damage is $25,000 or more. Illegal entry that involves taking of pictures or video is a class A, nonperson misdemeanor.

ID - Ecoterrorism - Chapter 70. Trespass and Malicious Injuries to Property. I.C. § 18-7015 - 7041

These laws comprise Idaho's animal enterprise interference/"ecoterrorism" laws. The state has a provision specific to trespass into enclosures for fur-bearing animals such as foxes. Additionally, § 18-7037 prohibits the unauthorized release of an animal, a bird, or an aquatic species which has been lawfully confined for agriculture, science, research, commerce, public propagation, protective custody, or education. This offense is a misdemeanor and the actor is liable for restitution that includes replacement costs, property damage, and even costs of repeating an experiment. Section § 18-7040 defines the crime of interference with agricultural research where a person knowingly damages property, obtains property with the intent of hinder the research; obtains access to the facility by misrepresentation to perform acts to damage or hinder the research; enters the facility with the intent to damage, alter, or duplicate data or records; or the release of an animal or injury to an animal at the facility. Violation is a felony with punishment of up to 20 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $10,000. The state also has a separate section on damage to aquaculture operations.

IA - Ecoterrorism - Chapter 717A. Offenses Relating to Agricultural Production. I. C. A. § 717A.1 - 717A.4

This set of Iowa laws relates to interference with animal facility operations as well as crop operations (commonly known as "ecoterrorism"). Under the section, it is unlawful for a person, without consent, to destroy property of an animal facility or kill or injure an animal maintained there. It is also unlawful for a person to enter such a facility if the person has notice that it is not open to the public with intent to disrupt operations there. A person suffering damages from such actions at an animal facility can bring an action to recover damages, which includes an amount equaling three times all actual and consequential damages. Iowa has a specific section that makes it a class B felony to use pathogens with an intent to threaten the health of an animal or crop.

GA - Ecoterrorism - Article 2. Georgia Farm Animal, Crop, and Research Facilities Protection Act Ga. Code Ann., § 4-11-30 to 35

This article is known as the Georgia Farm Animal, Crop, and Research Facilities Protection Act. A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person acquires or otherwise exercises control over an animal facility, an animal from an animal facility, or other property from an animal facility with the intent to deprive the owner of such facility, animal, or property and to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility. Other prohibited actions also include gaining entry where a person knows entry is forbidden. In the definition of "consent," the act states that the term does not include assent that is induced by force, threat, false pretenses or fraud. It also excludes assent given by a person that the actor knows is not authorized by the owner, or given by a person who the actor knows is unable to make reasonable decisions (e.g., because of youth, intoxication, or mental disease or defect). Violations that involve exercising control over a facility are felonies; those that involve illegal entry or damage less than $500 are misdemeanors.

SC - Ecoterrorism - Chapter 21. Farm Animal and Research Facilities Protection Act. Code 1976 § 47-21-10 to 90

The set of law comprises South Carolina's Farm Animal and Research Facilities Protection Act. A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, the person exercises control over an animal facility or the property located there, or if that person damages the facility or its property. A person also commits an offense if he or she enters a facility without the effective consent of the owner and remains concealed with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility. Violation for disruption or damage to a facility or its property is a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $10,000 and/or 3 years imprisonment. Violation for illegal entry is a misdemeanor with a fine up to $5,000 and/or 1 year imprisonment.

AL - Ecoterrorism - Article 6A. Farm Animal, Crop, and Research Facilities Protection Act. Ala. Code 1975 § 13A-11-150 - 158

This article is known as the “Farm Animal, Crop, and Research Facilities Protection Act.” Under the Act, it is unlawful for any person to intentionally release, steal, destroy, or otherwise cause loss of any animal or crop from an animal or crop facility without the consent of the owner. Other illegal actions include vandalizing obtaining access by false pretenses for the purpose of performing acts not authorized by the facility, and possession of records obtained by theft or deception without authorization of the facility. Violation results in a Class C felony if the loss $250 or more or a Class A misdemeanor if the loss is less $250.

AR - Ecoterrorism - Farm Animal and Research Facilities A.C.A. § 5-62-201 - 204

This Arkansas subchapter concerns illegal acts committed against agricultural production and animal research facilities. Under the act, a person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, the person acquires or otherwise exercises control over an animal facility, an animal from an animal facility, or other property from an animal facility, with the intent to deprive the owner of the animal facility, animal, or property and disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility. Any person who violates any provision of this subchapter is deemed guilty of a Class D felony and will be ordered to pay replacement costs/restitution.

IL - Ecoterrorism - 5/48-2. Animal research and production facilities protection 720 I.L.C.S. 5/48-2

This new law replaces the Illinois' Animal Research and Production Facilities Protection Act, which was repealed in 2013. Under the new law, it is unlawful for any person to release, steal, or injure an animal held at a facility; to damage or vandalize any property; to obtain access to an animal facility by false pretenses for the purpose of performing unauthorized acts; to enter into an animal facility with an intent to destroy, alter, duplicate, or obtain unauthorized possession of records; or to enter or remain on an animal facility with the intent to commit a prohibited act. Violation of any of these acts is a felony, with classification based on the amount of property damage.

OK - Ecoterrorism - G-1. Farm Animal, Crop, and Research Facilities Protection Act 2 Okl. St. Ann. § 5-103 to 106

This article is known as the “Oklahoma Farm Animal, Crop, and Research Facilities Protection Act." A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person acquires or otherwise exercises control over an animal facility, an animal from an animal facility, or other property from an animal facility with the intent to deprive the owner of such facility, animal, or property and to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility. Violation is a felony and results in a fine of up to $10,000 and/or 3 years imprisonment.

US - Crimes - Chapter 3. Animals, Birds, Fish, and Plants. 18 USCA § 43

This federal law provides for crime and penalties for animal enterprise terrorism.

PA - Ecoterrorism - § 3311. Ecoterrorism 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 3309 - 3311; 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 8319

This collective set of laws comprises Pennsylvania's ecoterrorim and agroterrorism provisions. The state has an agricultural vandalism law (misdemeanor or felony, depending on pecuniary loss)  and law prohibiting the destruction of agricultural crops (felony). A person is guilty of ecoterrorism if the person commits a specified offense against property by: intimidating or coercing a person participating in an activity involving animals, plants, or natural resources; or preventing or obstructing a person involved in such an activity. The law has a provision that states a person who is on public property, or on private property with permission, and is peaceable exercising his or her constitutional rights is immune from prosecution and from civil liability under Pa.C.S. § 8319.

NH - Ecoterrorism - 644:8-e Willful Interference With Organizations or Projects Involving Animals or With Animal Facilities. N.H. Rev. Stat. § 644:8-e This law is New Hampshire's eco/agroterrorism law. The law states that whoever willfully causes bodily injury or willfully interferes with any property, including animals or records, used by any organization or project involving animals, or with any animal facility shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor. Whoever in the course of a violation of paragraph I causes serious bodily injury to another individual or economic loss in excess of $10,000 shall be guilty of a class B felony.