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, including Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and 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.


Franz Weber Foundation

From 1990 until 2015, Franz Weber Foundation (FFW) managed the Fazao-Malfakassa National Park in Togo, which was, according to an in-depth investigation by Duke University, ‘established by forcing the local communities off their land and without taking into consideration their point of view’. That same study cited convincing evidence from reports published in 1990, confirming that competition for land use was already ‘creating conflict between the local communities and park managers’. In 2015 Togo refused to renew FFW’s contract because, the report says, ‘local communities were still excluded from the management of the natural resources of their land’ and FFW had ‘failed to fulfil its contract’. Franz Weber Foundation plays a major role within CITES because it funds and manages from Switzerland the African Elephant Coalition (AEC), which represents 32 African range states, some of which have barely any elephants and others none at all. Contrary to the wishes of the range states in Southern Africa, which manage most of the world’s wild elephant populations, the AEC at CITES’ CoPs repeatedly tables proposals to put all of the world’s elephants in appendix I. And the AEC uses its voting power to keep in place prohibitions on ivory sales and all other trade in elephant-related derivatives, including skins and hair, which Southern African nations wish to legalise.