Animal Liberation Front

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Animal Liberation Front
Animal Liberation Front Logo.png
Full Name: Animal Liberation Front
Alias: ALF
Origin: United Kingdom
Foundation: 1976
Commanders: Ronnie Lee
Goals: Defend animal rights (ongoing)
Crimes: Terrorism
Incitement to violence
Cruelty to animals
Type of Villain: Ecoterrorists

That is why the ALF cannot be smashed, it cannot be effectively infiltrated, it cannot be stopped. You, each and every one of you: you are the ALF.
~ Robin Webb

The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) is a direct-action animal rights group and much like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has been heavily criticized as employing tactics similar to those employed by eco-terrorists such as ARM.

ALF is well-known for raiding labs, farms and other businesses in order to liberate animals back into the wild, although this is well-intentioned sometimes this causes more damage to the wild than ALF realizes: an infamous exampled occured when members of ALF liberated a farm of mink only for the mink to kill many native wildlife, including endangered birds.

ALF are also accused of threatening violence against labs and farms they see as mistreating animals, much like PETA, ALF does not see their actions as terroristic and believe they are fighting for animals that can not defend themselves.

ALF and PETA are not considered terrorist organizations (unlike ARM) and like many direct-action groups can be viewed as heroes by some and dangerous fanatics by others - with ALF and PETA the controversy mainly comes from their methods rather than their actual goals. They also caused major vandalism, and also robbed pets and other animals.


Active in over 40 countries, ALF cells operate clandestinely, consisting of small groups of friends and sometimes just one person, which makes the movement difficult for the authorities to monitor. Robin Webb of the British Animal Liberation Press Office has said: "That is why the ALF cannot be smashed, it cannot be effectively infiltrated, it cannot be stopped. You, each and every one of you: you are the ALF."

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, including acts of vandalism causing economic damage. American activist Rod Coronado said in 2006: "One thing that I know that separates us from the people we are constantly accused of being—that is, terrorists, violent criminals—is the fact that we have harmed no one."

There has nevertheless been widespread criticism that ALF spokespersons and activists have either failed to condemn acts of violence or have themselves engaged in it, either in the name of the ALF or under another banner. The criticism has been accompanied by dissent within the animal rights movement itself about the use of violence, and increasing attention from the police and intelligence communities.

In 2002 the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which monitors extremism in the United States, noted the involvement of the ALF in the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty campaign, which SPLC identified as using terrorist tactics—though a later SPLC report also noted that they have not killed anyone. 

In 2005 the ALF was included in a United States Department of Homeland Security planning document listing a number of domestic terrorist threats on which the U.S. government expected to focus resources.

In the UK, ALF actions are regarded as examples of domestic extremism, and are handled by the National Extremism Tactical Coordination Unit, set up in 2004 to monitor ALF and other illegal animal rights activity.