Timeline of Animal Liberation Front actions, 2000–04
This is a time line of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) actions from 2000 to 2004.
- ALF formed
Two years after Ronnie Lee and Cliff Goodman had been charged for the raid on the Oxford Laboratory Animal Colonies in Bicester, UK, in 1974, as part of the Band of Mercy, the "Bicester Two" as they were known, emerged even more militant than before. There had been daily demonstrations at the court during their trial, including Lee's local Labour Party member of parliament, Ivor Clemitson. With the remaining activists from the Band of Mercy and another two dozen new willing activists, (30 in all), Lee formed the Animal Liberation Front upon his release in 1976. It was reported that in the first year alone, the ALF targeted; slaughterhouses, furriers, butchers shops, circuses, breeders and fast-food restaurants, causing damage in the UK that totaled £250,000. The first raid occurred in the same year, with 1,000 foxes being released from Dalchonzie fur farm in Scotland.
- 1980s and 1990s
The ALF was then founded throughout Europe and further abroad in the 1980s, with notable raids including the removal of Silver Spring and Britches monkeys. Unnecessary Fuss, a film by PETA with footage that the ALF stole, was also released which showed primate researchers laughing and joking at a baboon, as they inflict brain damage as part of a research project into head injuries caused by accidents.
The ALF continued into the 1990s, causing even more damage, with notable actions such as the jointly claimed ALF and Earth Liberation Front (ELF) arson at the US Forest Service Oakridge Ranger Station, which caused $5.3 million worth of damage. A series of raids also followed, which frequently targeted fur farms and animal laboratories and their breeding facilities, including the Harlan Interfauna raid in Cambridge, by Barry Horne and Keith Mann.
- On the 3rd, the ALF claimed that the arson at the Rancho Veal's meatpacking plant, California, which had its building set on fire, as well as trucks, caused $250,000 worth of damage.
- Petaluma Farms, a chicken farm in California, had five incendiary devices placed in its office and trucks. With two trucks destroyed, the ALF claimed that the farm "enslaves chickens for their eggs".
- The next day, the ALF claimed responsibility for the attempted arson at 'Primate Products' in California.
- July 2
A Rose Acre Farm chicken feed truck in Indiana was torched, with the ALF spray-painting "Polluter, animal exploiter, your turn to pay," at the scene. The ALF claim credit for the arson that caused $100,000 worth of damage.
- On the 10th January, the ALF are suspected of planting an incendiary device that ignited under a car belonging to a prominent member of the Old Surrey Burstow and West Kent Hunt. No one was hurt at the fire at Oxted, Surrey, with ALF Press Office claiming "As it was an incendiary device I'm confident it was the work of the ALF. If it was an explosive or bomb I would suspect a more extreme group.", also citing ALF's policy of non-violence. The hunt has been a target of protests, with a saboteur the year before run over by a four wheel drive vehicle, suffering broken ribs, a crushed pelvis, a damaged lung and severe internal bleeding.
- Prior to the Hunting Act being implemented, the ALF in protest steals a pack of hunting dogs from Wye College, near Ashford, Kent. The hunt secretary criticised the action saying it was cruel to the dogs and a sport enjoyed by many.
- April 5
A National Food Corp. egg farm in Washington was set on fire by the ALF, causing damage estimated at $1.5 million.
- May 21
The Center for Urban Horticulture, at the University of Washington, was set on fire causing $5.6 million worth of damage. It was the ALF's most expensive arson to date, destroying years worth of research on genetically altered poplar trees, as well as other projects.
- September 8
A McDonalds restaurant was set on fire, causing $500,000 worth of damage. The ALF and the ELF jointly claimed responsibility for the attack, noting that it, (the attack), was "a warning to corporations worldwide".
- September 20
In New Mexico, the Coulston Foundation's White Sands Research Center was set on fire, causing damage worth $1 million, with the ALF claiming responsibility.
- October 24
Over thirty windows were smashed at the Bank of America offices in New York by a specific ALF cell called; "Special Operations: Huntingdon Life Sciences". The group sarcastically remark that they had "joined the United States in their [sic] noble War Against Terrorism!".
- Sierra Biomedical, an animal research laboratory in California, was trashed by the ALF on the 1st November causing $50,000 worth of damage.
- On the 5th November, Barry Horne, Britina's most notorious animal rights militiant, ALF and ARM activist, dies of hunger strikes during his 18-year prison sentence for his campaign of arson. Animal Aid Director Andrew Tyler regarded Horne as a "dedicated anti-vivisectionist".
- January 29
- May 3
A Sims Poultry truck was destroyed in Indiana by the ALF using arson.
- Activists broke into a fur farm in Bure, eastern France and release 1,000 of 17,000 mink from their cages on November 11, damage was estimated at $30,000.
- The next day, animal rights activists were again blamed for an arson attack at a Tyneside factory. The beef plant, near Newcastle, UK, was described as an attack against the meat industry. Detectives claimed a link between the £30,000 fire and a series of fires started across the region at a cost of £17 million, reporting that two individuals burnt a refrigerator trailer which contained meat at around 8 pm. The fire then spread to the next trailer and burnt for around two hours until some forty fire fighters contained the blaze.
- On the 24th, police said that 118 puppies and 10 adult dogs were taken from a farm west of Bologna, in Italy, that bred dogs for animal research. "Murderers" and "ALF will free all" was daubed on the walls of the building.
- January 3
An animal feed company, supplying the Puckeridge Hunt in Hertfordshire, was completely burnt to the ground with "Fox killers" painted over a nearby church. The fire caused £250,000 worth of damage, roaring through the 1828 Grade 2 listed barn before spreading to the adjacent building, Stocking Pelham Hall. As fire fighters tried to save the hall, the owner remarked that the heat was extraordinary, and that the building was ablaze from end to end.
- On the 4th, activists calling themselves the "Groundhog Crew", because of the action coinciding with Groundhog day, cut forty-eight brake and refrigeration system lines of trucks belonging to the Supreme Lobster and Seafood Company in Chicago. "ALF—No Brakes" was left on the door of the building, which was considered to mean the Animal Liberation Front. The communique claimed that the largest lobster distributor in the Midwest had killed over a billion sea creatures in the last quarter century. The FBI claimed that the action caused a "near catastrophic effect", although nobody was hurt in the incident.
- In the very first fur farm raid in Ireland, the ALF released 1,000 mink from a farm in Co Laois, by removing the fencing that surrounded the mink enclosure. The activists said they had opened the cages on February 19, allowing the mink to escape into the Grand Canal. In a statement, the ALF explained:
|“||Our motivation was that of putting compassion over greed, of pity over barbarity and of freedom over exploitation.||”|
- The News & Review publish an article on the 6th after receiving a note regarding a pair of incendiary devices left at a McDonald's restaurant in Chicago. The explosive devices, that failed to go off, were two jugs filled with flammable liquid, which subsequently shut down the building for two hours while police and federal investigators handling the situation, with reporters also crowding the scene. The devices were eventually dismantled by the Butte County Sheriff's Office's bomb experts, after an employee had discovered one device in the morning. The ALF claimed responsibility by leaving a typed note at a payphone nearby, and said they carried out the action because the companies' connection to the factory farming industry, that was based on specieism
- On the 25th, authorities reported that the Rancho Veal plant in California was targeted again by arsonists, returning after the $250,000 arson in 2003. This time the fire only caused $10,000 worth of damage, with "stop the killing" painted on the back of the building. The owner of the business said that "It gets old, it gets real tiresome".
Wallops Wood Farm at Droxford, Hampshire, is raided by 16 members of the ALF and 1,000 chickens are "liberated", with activists claiming damage to cages, eggs, conveyor belts, feed apparatus, equipment, food stores, staff toilets, canteen, rearing shed and a delivery truck. The raid came after an injunction against ALF, SHAC and other groups restricting campaigners for their annual Easther march, banning "abusive communications with the Huntingdon Life Sciences (HLS), following the long-standing campaign against the company.
- June 17
A suspicious package, with a label attached saying "a gift from the Animal Liberation Front", was left in a dustbin wrapped up in a box at Act Tech UK Ltd in Northhampton. The finance director of the company said they had been affected by animal rights groups because of their parent company Asahi Glass, who supply Huntingdon Life Sciences. Employees were evacuated whilst police searched the building and the RAF Bomb Disposal Unit blew up the package.
- August 25
Fencing surrounding a fur farm in Seattle, Washington, was removed and the cages containing 10,000 mink opened, of the 22,000 mink, 9,000 of the animals were recovered by 8pm the following evening. The police were called shortly after the break-in at around 4 pm, when someone saw hundreds of mink running from the farm. The owner claimed that the act was "..a great example of animal cruelty,", whilst the ALF, in an anonymous communique, cited the Mink Rehabilitation Project, which they claim proves that mink can survive in the wild.
- On the 22nd, and described by Leif Finne, head of a fur farmer association, as "..by far the biggest attack on a fur farm in this country," all of the cages were opened on a fur farm in Kokkola, Finland; releasing 8,000 mink. "ALF" was painted on a wall at the farm, with the authorities also reporting that the raid had been the 60th on fur farms in Finland since 1995.
- Two days later, the ALF broke into the Louisiana State University Inhalation Toxicology Research Facility, destroying research equipment, chambers and computers, totaling $300,000.
- December 13
Together with another ALF activist who remains unidentified, Keith Mann raided the Wickham research laboratory and removed 695 mice that were being used to test botulinum toxin, sold commercially as Botox and Dysport. He was later arrested by detectives at his home whilst cleaning his car and the mice were returned to the laboratory. He argued that the tests were illegal because the product was being tested for cosmetic purposes, which is banned in Britain. The Southern Animal Rights Coalition also received paperwork which they say demonstrates cosmetic Botox was being tested on animals. However, in April 2005, a court rejected the claims, ruling that the tests were in compliance with UK regulations because Botox is used for therapeutic purposes to prevent muscle spasms and Mann was found guilty of burglary.
- The ALF broke into W.B. Saul High School in Roxborough, Philadelphia on April 19 and removed 47 animals; twenty-six gerbils, nine rats, four beagles, three hamsters, two chinchillas, two mice and a ferret. Two years later, referring to the criminalization of eco-terrorism in the state due to the increasing property destruction directed towards those involved in pharmaceutical and other animal research organizations, the Governor noted that:
|“||This public high school has been targeted by militant animal rights activists who have not stopped at peaceful protest, but have vandalized the school, stealing animals and destroying property.||”|
- The ALF attack a RMC site in Bournemouth, UK, destroying tractors, bulldozers and a crane; using axes, bolt croppers and crowbars. The company announce shortly afterward that they have pulled out of the construction of Oxford University's animal laboratory.
- The Times Picayune reports that the cockfighting arena in Hickory, Louisiana, has been burned to the ground, with "A.L.F." spray painted on the building.
- For continued article, see Timeline of Animal Liberation Front actions, 2005-Present
- Hundreds of mink on the loose, Spanish media, April 14th 2004.
- Monaghan, Rachael. "Terrorism in the Name of Animal Rights," in Taylor, Maxwell and Horgan, John. The Future of Terrorism. Routledge 2000, pp. 160–161.
- Mann, Keith. From Dusk 'til Dawn: An insider's view of the growth of the Animal Liberation Movement, Summary of Dates, Puppy Pincher Press, 2007.
- The video footage released by PETA can be viewed at Unnecessary Fuss 1 Unnecessary Fuss 2 Unnecessary Fuss 3 Unnecessary Fuss 4 Unnecessary Fuss 5 (videos).
- McCarthy, Charles R. "Reflections on the Organizational Locus of the Office for Protection from Research Risks", Online Ethics Centre for Engineering and Science, October 28, 2004; accessed October 2, 2006: On the basis of Unnecessary Fuss, PETA petitioned the Office for Protection from Research Risks (OPRR) to have the University of Pennsylvania's head injury lab closed down. The OPRR initially refused to act on the basis of the edited material and after more than a year of refusing to turn over the original tapes, PETA eventually did. The edited tape was found to have "grossly overstated the deficiencies in the Head Injury Clinic", but OPRR also found serious violations of accepted procedure.
- Eco-Violence: The Record, Southern Poverty Law Center, Fall 2002.
- Mann, Keith. From Dusk 'til Dawn: An insider's view of the growth of the Animal Liberation Movement. Puppy Pincher Press, 2007, pp. 267–275.
- ALF suspected of hunt attack, Guardian, January 11th 2001.
- Animal extremists steal Beagle pack, Telegraph, January 6th 2001.
- rights activist dies after hunger strike, Independent, November 6th 2001.
- Tofu billboard, PETA, Spring 2002.
- Activists release 1000 mink, Bite Back, November 11th 2002.
- "Animal rights activists free 1,000 animals from mink farm", Associated Press, November 11th 2002.
- Arson destroys meat trucks, Bite Back, November 12th 2002.
- "Cops in arson probe as meat trailers hit", Evening Chronicle, November 12th 2002.
- 129 dogs liberated from vivisection breeder, Bite Back, November 24th. 2002.
- "'Terrorists' steal 128 beagles", Associated Press, November 24th 2002.
- Arson Atrack on Hunt Supplier, Bite Back, January 3, 2003.
- "Arson Attack on Hunt Supplier", Herts Essex News, January 2003.
- ALF Cuts Brake Lines of 48 Trucks, Bite Back, February 4th 2003.
- Virginia Groark and Jon Yates. "Lobster firm fleet vandalized; Animal-rights group suspected; FBI is called in", Chicago Tribune, February 4th 2003.
- Making a Mink from Mink, Sunday Mirror, February 8th 2004.
- Video/slideshow/picture release from a fur farm, Bite Back, October 11th 2003.
- 1000 Mink released in fur farm raid, Bite Back, February 19th 2003.
- Don't have a cow, man, News & Review, March 6th 2003.
- Arsonist hits Rancho Veal slaughterhouse again, Bite Back, March 25th 2003.
- Arsonist hits Rancho Veal slaughterhouse again, The Press Democrat, March 25th 2003.
- Chickens freed by rights group, The Scotsman, April 24th 2003.
- ALF Communique: April 25th 2003, Bite Back, April 25th 2003.
- http://www.directaction.info/news_june17_03.htm Bomb Hoax at HLS Client], Bite Back, June 17th.
- "Animal liberation group denies planting 'bomb'", Northampton Today, June 17th 2003.
- 10,000 Mink released, Bite Back, August 26th 2003.
- 10,000 mink released from Sultan farm cages, Seattle Times, August 26th 2003.
- Mink Rehabilitation Project, Open The Cages, No Compromise, Issue 4.
- 7,000 Mink released in country's largest raid, Bite Back, September 22nd 2003.
- [Ananova, Finnish media outlet, September 22nd 2003.
- "FBI investigates Vet School break-in", LSU Reveille, September 25, 2003.
- Mann, Keith. From Dusk 'til Dawn: An insider's view of the growth of the Animal Liberation Movement. Puppy Pincher Press, 2007, p. 625.
- Mann, Keith. From Dusk 'til Dawn: An insider's view of the growth of the Animal Liberation Movement. Puppy Pincher Press, 2007, p. 630.
- "Stop the botox horror", Southern Animal Rights Coalition, accessed November 8th, 2007.
- "Animal protester jailed after court threat", Portsmouth Today, 30 April 2005.
- 47 Animals Liberated From Lab During World Week for Lab Animals, Bite Back, April 19th 2004.
- Pennsylvania Makes Ecoterrorism a Criminal Offense, Environmental News Service, April 20th 2006.
- Oxford lab supplier has 2 sites trashed, Bite Back, June 29th 2004.
- Illegal Incidents, Foundation for Biomedical Research.
- Glaxo chief: animal rights cowards are terrorising us, The Telegraph, July 28th 2004.
- Fire destroy's cockfighting arena, Bite Back, August 10th 2004.
- Cockfighting area set on fire, The Times Picayune, August 10th 2004.
- Young, Peter Daniel (2010). Animal Liberation Front: Complete Diary of Actions, The First 30 Years. Voice of the Voiceless Communications. ISBN 978-0-9842844-0-5
- Mann, Keith, (2007) From Dusk 'til Dawn: An Insider's View of the Growth of the Animal Liberation Movement, Puppy Pincher Press, ISBN 978-0-9555850-0-5
- Best, Steven, and Nocella, Anthony J, (2004) Terrorists or Freedom Fighters? Reflections on the Liberation of Animals, Lantern Books, ISBN 1-59056-054-X
- Newkirk, Ingrid, (2000) Free the Animals: The Story of the Animal Liberation Front, Lantern Books, ISBN 1-930051-22-0