Conservation Influencers

Animal Liberation Front

No specific place of abode

Animal Liberation Front (ALF) has no involvement with CITES. But it poses a threat to all those people and organisations that support the sustainable use of wildlife for the benefit of humanity.

ALF is a loose global network of animal rights extremists who are best described as ecoterrorists. It is composed of groups which use different names (Earth Liberation Front (ELF) or Animal Liberation Brigade, for example). ALF’s network of extremists emerged in the UK during the 1970s out of an equally fanatical group known as the Bands of Mercy, which was closely linked to the Hunt Saboteurs Association. Given that the ALF initiates and celebrates illegal, sometimes violent, activities, it has no centralised structure or transparent chain of command. 

Any person or group can lay claim to being part of the ALF network, so long as they swear allegiance to a set of guidelines:

  • To liberate animals from places of abuse, i.e. fur farms, laboratories, factory farms, etc. and place them in good homes where they may live out their natural lives free from suffering. 
  • To inflict economic damage to those who profit from the misery and exploitation of animals. 
  • To reveal the horror and atrocities committed against animals behind locked doors by performing nonviolent direct actions and liberations. 
  • To take all necessary precautions against hurting any animal, human and nonhuman. 

The evidence that ALF supports domestic terrorism is convincing. According to the FBI, in 2003, people and groups closely allied to and or members of ALF detonated improvised explosive devices at the premises of two northern California companies, which were targeted as a consequence of their business links to the UK firm Huntingdon Life Sciences.

The same FBI report specifically pointed the finger of blame at the ALF network for committing arson at a large condominium complex that was under construction near La Jolla, California, which caused an estimated USD50 millions worth of damage. The FBI also said that ALF supporters damaged two new homes under construction near Ann Arbor, Michigan in March 2003. The FBI further accused the ALF of damaging around 120 SUVs in West Covina, California, in the same year. 

About the directory

Conservation Influencers is a searchable directory of the animal activist, environmental and ecological lobby. It examines the history, mission, methodology and reputation of NGOs to assess their impact on the global conservation cause.

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Wildlife Conservation Society

In 1906, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) put an African man on display in Bronx Zoo’s Monkey House. In 1918, one of WCS’s founding fathers, Madison Grant, published Passing of the Great Race, which Adolf Hitler referred to as his ‘Bible’. Another leading creator and early leader of WCS, Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr, was also a founder of the American Eugenics Society. His son headed WCS from 1940 to 1968, overseeing a series of major initiatives in Africa. There, WCS became one of the architects of the prohibition movement, which put wildlife for consumptive use and vast regions of land out of bounds to humanity. In 2020, WCS distanced itself in public from the racist views of Grant and Henry Fairfield Osborn Sr. But it has yet to issue a critical account of the legacy of Fairfield Osborn Jr, even though he led WCS into the modern era while sharing similar politically-inspired ecological goals to his father and Grant. WCS devotes considerable financial resources to influencing outcomes at CITES. WCS’s CEO reportedly earns USD$1,320,978.

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