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Texas HB1480 Protects Farms from Vandalism

07/27/2021

A recent session of the Texas Legislature passed HB1480.  According to this proposed legislation, it will be a criminal offence to cause harm valued at more than $500 to any animal facility or crop.  This will include “intentionally stealing, releasing, destroying or otherwise causing the loss of animals or crops, damaging, vandalizing or stealing any property from an animal or crop facility or breaking and entering an animal or crop facility with the intention to destroy or alter records”.


Opposition to HB 1480

 

Violation of the statute constitutes a Class B misdemeanor if loses are between $500 to $2,500,   and a Class A misdemeanor if loses are over $2,500. The violators will also be required to pay restitution, court cost and attorney's fees.Facility owners may seek injunctive relief against any person or organization that engages in or threatens to engage in activities prohibited by the statute.

 

 This legislation should be ruled constitutional as opposed to many state “Ag Gag” laws that apparently restrict the First Amendment right of free speech since it expressly addresses damage, vandalism and acts of commission.