- Do you raise and sell animals or their products on a commercial scale? (Family farmers, raise your hands)
- Do you raise and sell animals or their products on a hobby level? (Hobby farmers, backyard chicken keepers, show dog breeders; raise your hands)
- Do you host animal competitions on your property? (Hosts of dog shows, cat shows, horse shows & 4H competitions; raise your hands)
Then you need to know about the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA).
All of the aforementioned groups (and more) frequently suffer harassment, threats, trespass, property damage/loss and false allegations on a frequent basis. The ability of the targeted to combat these actions is typically limited by one single factor, money. Most of the affected groups put all their extra financial resources into their animals, it leaves little to throw into lawsuits that can drag on endlessly. Its like the old joke, “How do you earn a small fortune with horses? Start with a large one”
The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) levels the playing field. It shifts the burden of the cost of the pursuit of a case from the individual to the federal government. It also contains both a scalable penalty system and a means of ordering restitution to the affected parties when there is a course of conduct (pattern) of 2 or more acts violating the AETA which include bodily injury (serious or substantial) or economic damage.
The scalable penalty system is especially interesting as it allows a scope to deal with a range of events from the small scale to the large without the penalty necessarily exceeding the injury.
If you have been targeted in ways that appear to violate the AETA, please contact me. I will be happy to put you in touch with people who are happy to provide more information and help guide you through the process.
The AETA, its not just for the protection of the ‘big guys’ but the ‘little guy’ too.