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House committee hears privacy, bioterrorism bill

March 29, 2005
By: Victor Roberto
State Capital Bureau
Links: HB 666

The fight against bioterrorism moves to animal breeding facilities.

Victor Roberto has more from the state Capitol.

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The Missouri House bill is about bioterrorism... The bill will make it illegal to intentionally infect animal facilities with diseases

Representative Jim Guest ... a republican from Northwest Missouri who sponsored the bill ... says his goal is to protect the privacy of Missouri's ranchers and breeders.

Guest, the bill's sponsor, says he wants to keep Missouri's livestock supply safe.

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Contents: 9/11 and the recent BSE scare in the beef industry brings home the importance of protecting our food supply.

But the bill's other provisions are upsetting animal rights activists. It makes sneaking into a breeding facility to take pictures ... currently a misdemeanor ... punishable by up to 7 years in prison ... and advocates say that would make it impossible to uncover animal abuse.

From the state Capitol, I'm Victor Roberto.

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Animal breeders flooded a Missouri House committee hearing to support a bill giving them more protection.

Victor Roberto has more from the state Capitol.

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The bill would increase the penalties for trespassing on private property where animals are being raised.

Legal breeders say they need new laws because they are harassed by people wanting to expose animal cruelty.

The bill's sponsor, Republican Rep. Jim Guest, says legitimate breeders and owners need more protection from animal activists.

The Northwest Missouri Representative says animal rights activists are sneaking on private property looking for evidence of animal abuse.

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Contents: You do not violate someone's private property rights to go onto a facility that's licensed and inspected...and harass them.

Opponents of the bill say the bill will make it harder to uncover and prosecute animal abuse and neglect.

From the state Capitol, I'm Victor Roberto.