Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bill Introduced in CA Legislature Targets Animal Activists

The University of California has gone to the legislature to push for legislation to specifically punish animal rights protesters, and to forbid them from posting information on the internet about people that do animal research.

The prohibited online information would include the researchers' names, home addresses and photographs.

The measure, AB2296, also would outlaw activities targeting corporate researchers.

Assemblyman Gene Mullin, D-San Mateo, agreed to submit the legislation at UC's request after months of harassment, threats and vandalism at the homes and offices of university researchers.

"Several campuses have experienced incidents which are just shocking," said Chancellor George Blumenthal of UC Santa Cruz during a telephone news conference Monday. Protesters in February are accused of trying to break into a UC Santa Cruz professor's home and attacking her husband.

Here is a link to the text of the bill
. Some highlights:


AB 2296, as amended, Mullin. Animals.
Animals: Animal Enterprise Protection Act.

Existing law establishes various causes of action, including
actions for damages and injunctive relief, for the enforcement of
various rights.

This bill would provide that no person, business, or association shall knowingly publicly post or publicly display on the Internet a
home address, home telephone number, or image of any employee of an
animal enterprise or other individuals residing at the same home
address of the employee of an animal enterprise, as specified. The
bill would authorize a victim of a violation of those prohibitions to
maintain an action for damages and for injunctive relief, as

Existing law, subject to exceptions, generally provides the
disclosure of public records, as specified.

This bill would exempt from disclosure, information relating to
animal research activities when there is a reasonable basis to
conclude that public disclosure of the records would result in
harassment of individuals involved with the research. The bill would
state findings and the intent of the Legislature in this regard.

Existing law establishes various offenses in connection with
obstruction of, or interference with, among other things, places of

This bill would provide that every person who commits any of certain acts for the purpose of injuring, intimidating, or
interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise, as defined,
or with a person connected, as specified, to an animal enterprise, or who damages or destroys property because of its connection to an
animal enterprise, as specified, is guilty of a misdemeanor
. The bill would provide alternate punishments depending on the elements of the offense of up to 6 months imprisonment in a county jail and a fine
of up to $2,000, or up to one year in a county jail and a fine of up
to $25,000
. Fines would be increased for subsequent offenses and
other circumstances, as specified. The bill would also authorize
actions for damages and civil penalties, and for restraining orders
in connection with violations of the prohibitions, as specified.

By creating new crimes, this bill would impose a state-mandated
local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.

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