Utah Lawmakers Are Taking a Stand Against Animal Extremist Crimes
Lawmakers in Utah are stepping up to prevent animal extremists like Wayne Hsuing and Paul Picklesimer from committing further crimes in their state after a jury acquitted charges against them for trespassing and theft.
In October 2022, there was a trial against DxE (Direct Action Everywhere) extremists who had trespassed and stolen animals from the Smithfield Foods Circle Four Farm. During the trial the jury acquitted the two men charged using the argument that the piglets they stole were “sick and had no value.”
The Theft Defense Amendment
The proposed Utah House Bill 114 Theft Defense Amendment would make it so a defendant cannot claim animals being “sick, injured, or a liability to the owner” as a defensible reason for theft and therefore be dismissed. Needless to say, DxE was less than impressed. One of the group’s lead organizers claimed such a bill “enables animal abuse.”
The bill passed in the Utah House on January 27th with a 65-4 vote and in the Senate on February 6th with a 19-7 vote. It now sits on Gov. Spencer Cox’s desk for further action.
According to the St. George News, “The floor of the Senate at the State Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Cedar City-based Sen. Evan Vickers, who was the Senate floor sponsor of the House bill,