The Animal Rights Militia (ARM) first started in England over ten years
ago, with a similar philosophy shared by The Justice Department. While
supporting the Animal Liberation Front and other strategies, ARM
believes that the Animal Liberation Front does not go far enough with
regards to direct action. More effective victories can be achieved with
poisoning hoaxes, and other such strategies.
Early victories began in the eighties with two successful destructions
in San Jose, California. The first on Sep.1, 1987 in California cost
$100,000 damage to the San Jose Valley Veal Inc. A paper products warehouse was burned down causing major financial loss.
The second action was even more costly, with $230,000 damage to Ferrara
Meat Company on Nov.26, 1987. A barn containing hay and grain was destroyed.
One of the most famous actions carried out by ARM happened in England,
1984. The Mars Company had performed horrific tooth decay experiments
on animals with no signs of stopping. By claiming to the media that
Mars Bars, candy bars, had been poisoned, the company withdrew it's
candy from the shelves which cost the company huge financial losses.
ARM later acknowledged the poisoning was a hoax, but the company
realized the potential for further actions and withdrew from animal
The success of this action shows that economic sabotage is a powerful,
effective tool for animal liberationists. Anytime a company has it's
product tampered with, the potential injury to it's customers is to
potent to ignore. By understanding this fact, The Animal Rights Militia
capitalized on this fear to directly save animals.
Since 1990, ARM has also been active in Canada. A similar action
against a candy bar manufacturer took place Jan. 2, 1992. The animal
experimentation involved in Cold Buster's development included rats
being frozen, starved, and injected with drugs, including barbiturates.
The inventor of Cold Buster, Larry Wang vivisector at the
University of Alberta, was also part-owner of the company which
manufactured the bar. Sixteen years of animal research went into the
development of the product.
Eighty-seven Cold Buster bars were said to be poisoned with oven
cleaning fluid and returned to the store shelves for public
consumption. Communiques and samples of contaminated bars were sent to
TV stations and newspapers. The economic damage inflicted to the company
was enormous. There was an estimated more than $1 million cost to the
manufacturer of this candy just from recalling the candy. Clearly this
action was a strong message to other companies involved in vivisection,
that they too could risk losing millions.
Two weeks later, ARM revealed that the poisoning was a hoax. As with
the previous mentioned Mars Bar hoax, companies cannot take the risk
that customers could be injured, so they are forced to recall
merchandise which adds to profit losses. An additional victory for the
animals was when the Canadian Department of Defense pulled their funding
for the research.
On April 23, 1992, which is International Day for Laboratory Animals,
ARM sent a strong message to a vivisector. The action happened in
Vancouver, British Columbia at the home of vivisector Hans Fibiger. Fibiger, who is a University of British Columbia
vivsector, had red
paint splashed on his house and driveway. The word "scum" was written
on the window along with an animal rights slogan on the driveway.
Another poisoning hoax was claimed by ARM on December 23, 1994 in
Vancouver, British Columbia. ARM claimed to have injected turkey bodies
with rat poison while randomly placing them in various Safeway and
Save-On-Foods outlets in the Lower Mainland area. Samples were sent to
media, but when tested by police, it was discovered the samples were not
Since companies cannot take the risk that some merchandise is
contaminated, an estimated $1 million worth of turkeys were removed from
the shelves. Also, Health Canada was still involved in doing tests for
some time after the hoax to investigate the condition of the turkeys.
The supermarket's selling these turkeys and the Turkey Producers Co-op
lost millions of dollars.
Other Animal Rights Militia actions in England include incendiary
devices causing economic damage to animal abusers. Some examples
include Aug. 10, 1994 where C.H. Brown's saddlery & leather shop,
Madison and Westworld leather shops, Edinburgh Woolen Mill, and Nurse's
fur store all had incendiary devices placed by ARM. Tens of thousands
of dollars damage was caused to the saddlery shop. This is just one
example of how successful ARM has been.
Another example is Aug. 24, 1994 when over $4,000,000 damage was done
with four incendiary devices placed at Sports and Model Shop (selling
leather goods), Suede and Leather Shop, and the Cancer Research Fund
Shop. Scotties fishing tackle shop also had devices placed along with
Boots the Chemist. There was a long standing campaign against Boots for
supporting animal testing.
Even subsidiaries of Boots were targeted, such as the placing of incendiary devices in Fads DIY on Sep. 16, 1994. Two Boots branches
were also targeted in this action along with Linsley Brother bloodsports
shop, and Imperial Cancer Research Foundation shop. Another $4,000,000
in damages. After so many attacks of economic sabotage, Boots finally
sold off it's pharmaceutical division to avoid further actions by animal
Along with economic sabotage, ARM has been especially effective in Sweden with live liberations of animals. Activists in Uppsala on January 15, 1998, raided labs belonging to Bio Jet
Servive. They rescued 92 guinea pigs. Several of the females were pregnant, so an estimated 120 guinea pigs were rescued. What makes this action so especially effective is that the breeder, Gothe
Olofsson, is a vivisector himself at Uppsala University. He reportedly has said he will not replace the guinea pigs, but will instead give up the trade.
Since it's inception, ARM has proven the effectiveness of direct action
when used against animal abusers. Repeatedly, their actions have been
strategic and disabling to those who profit from animal suffering.