TX H.B. 433 - ANIMAL RIGHTS AND ECOLOGICAL TERRORISM
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Source: Texas Legislature Online
H.B. No. 433
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
relating to criminal offenses involving acts against certain
activities involving animals or involving natural resources and to
civil consequences arising from convictions of those offenses.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Chapter 28, Penal Code, is amended by adding
Section 28.09 to read as follows:
Sec. 28.09. ANIMAL RIGHTS AND ECOLOGICAL TERRORISM.
(1) "Activity involving animals" means any lawful
activity involving the use of animals, including:
(A) hunting and trapping;
(B) food production, processing, and
(C) clothing manufacturing and distribution;
(D) medical or other research;
(E) entertainment and recreation; and
(2) "Activity involving natural resources" means any
lawful activity involving the use of a natural resource with an
economic value, including mining, foresting, harvesting, or
processing natural resources.
(3) "Animal facility" means a vehicle, building,
structure, or other premises where an animal is lawfully:
(A) housed, exhibited, or offered for sale,
including a zoo, amusement park, or preserve or a location at which
a circus or a rodeo or other competitive event is held; or
(B) used for scientific purposes, including
research, testing, and experiments.
(4) "Animal rights or ecological terrorist
organization" means two or more persons organized for the purpose
of supporting any politically motivated activity intended to
obstruct or deter any person from participating in an activity
involving animals or an activity involving natural resources.
(5) "Political motivation" means an intent to
influence a governmental entity or the public to take a specific
(b) A person commits an offense if the person, with
political motivation or while acting on behalf of an animal rights
or ecological terrorist organization:
(1) prevents an individual from lawfully
participating in an activity involving animals or an activity
involving natural resources by:
(A) obstructing the use of an animal or a natural
resource owned by the individual, if the obstruction is for a period
of time sufficient to significantly decrease the value or enjoyment
of the animal or the natural resource to the individual;
(B) damaging or disposing of an animal or a
natural resource owned by the individual, if the damage or disposal
substantially reduces the condition or usefulness of the animal or
the natural resource; or
(C) detaining an animal or a natural resource
owned by the individual and demanding compensation in exchange for
release of the animal or the natural resource; or
(2) prevents an individual's use of an animal facility
without the effective consent of the facility's owner by:
(A) damaging the facility or property in the
(B) physically disrupting the operation of the
(C) unlawfully entering or remaining in the
facility and engaging in an activity described by Subdivision (1);
(D) unlawfully entering or remaining in the
facility despite notice denying entry; or
(E) entering the facility to take photographs or
a video recording with the intent to defame the facility or the
(c) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly
provides financial support, resources, or other assistance to an
animal rights or ecological terrorism organization for the purpose
of assisting the organization in carrying out an act described by
(d) An offense under Subsection (c) is a Class B
misdemeanor. An offense under Subsection (b) is:
(1) a Class B misdemeanor if the amount of pecuniary
loss resulting from the commission of the offense is less than $500;
(2) a state jail felony if the amount of pecuniary loss
is $500 or more.
(e) The punishment for an offense described by Subsection
(d) is increased to the next higher category of punishment if the
offense results in bodily harm to any individual.
(f) It is an exception to the application of Subsection (b)
that the conduct is engaged in by:
(1) an employee of a government agency acting in the
course and scope of their employment;
(2) an employee of a financial institution or other
secured party acting in the course and scope of their employment; or
(3) an employee of an animal control authority or a
recognized animal shelter or humane society acting in the course
and scope of their employment.
(g) If conduct that constitutes an offense under this
section also constitutes an offense under any other section of this
code, the actor may be prosecuted under either section or both
SECTION 2. Title 6, Civil Practice and Remedies Code, is
amended by adding Chapter 148 to read as follows:
CHAPTER 148. ANIMAL RIGHTS OR ECOLOGICAL TERRORISM
Sec. 148.001. CAUSE OF ACTION. (a) A person who is injured
or whose property has been injured as a result of a violation under
Section 28.09, Penal Code, has a civil cause of action if the
conduct constituting the violation was committed knowingly or
(b) A person must bring suit for damages under this section
before the earlier of the fifth anniversary of the date of the last
act in the course of the conduct constituting a violation under
Section 28.09, Penal Code, or the second anniversary of the date the
claimant first discovered or had reasonable opportunity to discover
Sec. 148.002. DAMAGES. A person who establishes a cause of
action under this chapter may recover:
(1) an amount equal to three times the amount of
economic damages, including any damages related to damaged records,
lost profits, or the cost of repeating an experiment; and
(2) court costs and reasonable attorney's fees.
SECTION 3. Subchapter D, Chapter 411, Government Code, is
amended by adding Section 411.0422 to read as follows:
Sec. 411.0422. INFORMATION REGARDING ANIMAL RIGHTS OR
(a) The department shall create a record of
each individual who commits an offense under Section 28.09, Penal
(b) A record created under this section must include the
individual's name, residence address, and signature and a recent
photograph of the individual.
(c) If an individual who is the subject of a record makes a
change in name or address, the individual shall, not later than the
30th day after making the change, provide to the department written
notice of the change.
(d) The department shall maintain an Internet website
containing each record described by this section. A record must
remain on the website for at least three years, at which time the
individual who is the subject of the record may apply to the
department for a hearing on removal of the record.
SECTION 4. (a) The change in law made by this Act applies
only to an offense committed on or after the effective date of this
Act. For purposes of this section, an offense is committed before
the effective date of this Act if any element of the offense occurs
before that date.
(b) An offense committed before the effective date of this
Act is governed by the law in effect when the offense was committed,
and the former law is continued in effect for that purpose.
SECTION 5. This Act takes effect September 1, 2003.
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