The Iowa House has approved a bill that sets tough penalties for “eco-terrorism”. Those found guilty of trespassing on a farm or research plot would get up to 10 years in prison, and would be assessed a big fine if they destroyed crops or livestock. Representative Brian Quirk is from New Hampton, where a mink ranch was sabotaged last fall. He says the mink were killed on a highway and left in a pool of their blood.Representative Russell Teig of Jewell says one of his friends had his mink farm destroyed in 1998 when someone released the valuable animals. He says this bill sends a message that Iowa protects its producers.Representative Ed Fallon of Des Moines was a “no” vote on the bill. Fallon says he’s troubled that they’re enhancing penalties for one activity, making it a more severe offense to trespass on a farm than a school or church.The bill passed the House on a 96 to two vote. It now goes before the Senate.
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