Before leaving for the election recess, the U.S. Senate passed the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which would increase penalties for criminal acts against animal enterprises (labs, animal shelters, pet stores, breeders or furriers). It revises criminal prohibitions against damaging or interfering with the operations of an animal enterprise to include "intentional damage or loss to any real or personal property and intentional threats of death or serious bodily injury against individuals."

The legislation is in response to various attacks by activists against animal enterprises. Similar legislation has been introduced in the House by Rep. Thomas Petri (R-WI).
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent