News Index > Sortable News > January 2007
ALF Attacked by CattleNetwork

[ - opinon]

I don't know if you've had occasion to visit the Web site for the notorious Animal Liberation Front � � lately. If so, it may have struck you, as it did me, how ironic the group's "liberation" intiatives appear.

For so-called revolutionaries, who say they want to change society's entire relationship with the animal kingdom, they certainly seem to be relying on the same discredited, retaliatory acts of violence that have proven to be counterproductive for the last, what? Two thousand years?

As examples, here are a few snippets from the group's (alleged) "press office," showing clearly that ALF is little more than thugs and terrorists, cloaking themselves in the self-described nobility of their cause.

"Two FLA (Frente de Liberación Animal) strikes very early this morning in Monterrey, Nuevo León (Mexico). The first target was a big fur store, where all locks and doors were glued . . . The second target was a KFC that was painted with paint bombs. In Support of all ALF and ELF cells and dedicated to the SHAC 7."
However, all of the above is business as usual for the self-styled outlaws who comprise the paint-spraying, fire-bombing members of ALF's various "cells." (Of course, that last designation is how they identify themselves � but don't call them terrorists!)

But the most egregious of ALF's recent operations occurred late last month. In a communiqué (again, with the pseudo-revolutionary jargon) issued on Dec. 20, ALF bragged that, "Last night we gave an early Christmas present to around two hundred and fifty of our friends at the Griggstown Quail Farm in Princeton, N.J.

"After clipping through the fencing we cut out large sections of the canopy covering three pens, then flushed several hundred quail, phesants (sic) and partridges out into the starry sky and freedom. The farm is located by a waterway and open fields, and we wish our friends the best of luck in establishing new lives.
Response. Every company involved in the meat and poultry business ought to have several trained communicators and spokespeople who can reach out to local media � certainly if an animal activist incident takes place here they do business � and offer a perspective that challenges the accusations of abuse, cruelty and whatever else that are always lobbed at producers and packers.
Security. All facilities need to be fully secured along the perimeter of the property and at all entrance points, loading docks and employee access points. Video surveillance equipment needs to be installed.
Equally important, management needs to proactively reach out to local police and emergency responders to discuss their security plans and make sure the community's first responders are aware of threats posed by ALF and others allied with them.

Support. There are numerous pro-industry groups out there working to counteract the hatred, the violence and the propaganda generated by animal activists. Perhaps your firm is a member. If so, that's great. If not, why not?

But beyond paying your dues, how about getting involved? How about attending meetings, appearing on industry discussion panels, becoming active on the committees most groups have formed to deal with those who oppose the very existence of the industry?

Make no mistake: This is a fight to the finish, and it's one industry cannot afford to lose.

Dan Murphy, former editor of MMT magazine, is communications integrator + principal at Seattle-based Outsource Marketing and author of the forthcoming book, "Meat of the Matter."

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