Oklahomans marking the eighth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing will be forgiven for having terrorism on the brain this month. As it is, government officials are warning Sooners that their state isn’t necessarily any safer than on the day the Murrah Federal Building was destroyed.
So it’s perhaps not all that surprising that Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry recently signed legislation giving law enforcement sharper teeth to fight eco-terrorism and animal-rights violence.
The law, which made it out of the state legislature with only three dissenting votes, makes it a felony (punishable by up to three years in jail and a $10,000 fine) to disrupt animal agriculture, destroy farm facilities, “liberate” farm animals, or otherwise “damage” an animal enterprise. It also covers vandalism and other crimes against “crop” farming — which we presume would cover plantings of genetically-enhanced food varieties.
Keith Smith, who leads Oklahoma’s chapter of the Sierra Club, complained to the Associated Press that this new law will protect large animal breeding operations, but noted that its original intent was to target “eco-terrorists like PETA.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.