Empire Farm Days is the largest outdoor farm show in the Northeastern United States. Over 75,000 farmers and other visitors flock to Seneca Falls, New York each year to see the latest in farming equipment, livestock-raising methods, and crop-growing techniques. But this year, says the Rochester (NY) Democrat and Gazette, those who attend are also learning about animal-rights activists who pose “a new threat to their crops and livestock.”

Law enforcement is taking the threat seriously: “We are going to closely monitor the animal rights people,” says Alan Morse, a member of the New York State Police Counter-Terrorism Intelligence Unit. “There’s always factions that don’t think [peaceful activists] go far enough and think direct action is needed.”

Such “direct action” is also being investigated further to the west, where prosecutors from three Indiana counties are asking the public for help in solving at least three eco-terror crimes. Two of these cases involved arsons at home building sites, crimes for which the violent Earth Liberation Front has publicly claimed guilt. The third was a May 3 gasoline-bombing attack directed at a Bloomington poultry processing plant; the Animal Liberation Front has acknowledged its responsibility for this crime.

Speaking of the dramatic conflagrations that resulted from these cowardly attacks, Indiana state representative Brent Steele told reporters that “the public needs to know we almost lost a firefighter. This is not just a law enforcement problem; it threatens the safety and lives of everyone in our communities.”