Animal Liberation Front Case Study


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International: Animal Liberation Front
The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) is an international, underground leaderless resistance that
engages in illegal direct action.
Their main aim is to pursue animal liberation (the idea that the most basic interests of
non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of
human beings.)
Other aims are:
o To inflict economic damage on those who profit from the misery and exploitation of
o To liberate animals from places of abuse, i.e. laboratories, factory farms, fur farms
etc., and place them in good homes where they may live out their natural lives, free
from suffering.
o To reveal the horror and atrocities committed against animals behind locked doors,
by performing nonviolent direct actions and liberations
o To take all necessary precautions against harming any animal, human and non-human.
o Any group of people who are vegetarians or vegans and who carry out actions
according to ALF guidelines have the right to regard themselves as part of the ALF.
The ALF removes animals from laboratories and farms, destroys facilities, arranges safe
houses and veterinary care, and operates sanctuaries where the animals live out the rest of
their lives.
Active in over 40 countries, ALF cells operate secretly, consisting of small groups of friends
and sometimes just one person, which makes the movement difficult for the authorities to
Activists say the movement is non-violent. According to the ALF's code, any act that furthers
the cause of animal liberation, where all reasonable precautions are taken not to harm human
or non-human life, may be claimed as an ALF action.
Around 1982 there was a noticeable shift in the non-violent position, and not one approved by
everyone in the movement. Some activists began to make personal threats against individuals,
followed by letter bombs and threats to contaminate food, the latter representing yet another shift
to threatening the general public, rather than specific targets. Activists use the Animal Rights Militia
name when violating the ALF's policy not to endanger life.
Violence against property began to increase substantially after several high-profile campaigns
closed down facilities perceived to be abusive to animals. Consort Kennels, a facility breeding
beagles for animal testing; Hillgrove Farm, which bred cats; and Newchurch Farm, which bred guinea
pigs, were all closed after being targeted by animal rights campaigns that appeared to involve the
In 1999, ALF activists became involved in the international Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC)
campaign to close Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), Europe's largest animal-testing laboratory. The
Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors U.S. domestic extremism, has described SHAC's
modus operandi as "frankly terroristic tactics similar to those of anti-abortion extremists."[64] ALF
activist Donald Currie was jailed for 12 years and placed on probation for life in December 2006 after
being found guilty of planting homemade bombs on the doorsteps of businessmen with links to HLS.

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HLS director Brian Cass was attacked by men wielding pick-axe handles in February 2001, an attack
so serious that Detective Chief Inspector Tom Hobbs of Cambridgeshire police said it was only by
sheer luck that they were not starting a murder inquiry.[66] David Blenkinsop was one of those
convicted of the attack, someone who in the past had conducted actions in the name of the ALF.…read more


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