Legislators may toughen penalties for protestors who seek to disrupt farm operations. A bill approved by the House Ag Committee sets longer prison sentences and higher fines for those who release livestock, including minks and honey bees, and for those who damage or destroy crops. Representative Clel Baudler of Greenfield fears Iowa State University research plots will be targeted by international terrorists. Baudler says the bill sends a message to animal rights groups and Eco-terrorists: get caught and you’ll stay here awhile. This past September, an animal rights group released thousands of minks from a mink farm near New Hampton. A few years ago, protestors spray painted a bean field near Atlantic.
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