Attacks on the global food chain from animal rights and environmental extremists jumped 42%, from 155 in 2007 to 220 in 2008, according to Animal Agriculture Alliance (Alliance).
The information compiled* by the Alliance showed that ALF, ELF, DBF and related groups claimed a total of 640 acts of sabotage, vandalism and arson in 2008, up from 467 in 2007, an increase of over 35%, says the Alliance.
The overall level of animal rights extremist attacks in the US on businesses that use animals - including medical research, consumer product safety, pets, circuses, rodeos, fur shops, hunting stores, farmers, ranchers, food retailers – rose nearly 40%. Claimed attacks on food retailers in the US, especially the brand names of McDonald's, Burger King, KFC and Hardee's, increased from 9 in 2007 to 34 in 2008, an increase of 377%.
Destruction or defacement of property - especially smashing windows, etching windows, and painting (or paint bombing) windows, buildings, vans and billboards - were the most frequently used techniques used by extremist groups.
Extremists claimed responsibility for the "liberation" of thousands of animals during the year, says the Alliance, and millions of dollars in damage. Mexico appears to be an emerging centre for animal rights terrorism. In 2008, extremist groups in Mexico claimed more than double the amount of attacks than were claimed in the USA.
*The Alliance indicated that Bite Back magazine was its main source for compiling data on terrorist acts claimed by Animal Liberation Front (ALF), Earth Liberation Front (ELF), DBF, a branch of ALF found in Sweden and the Netherlands, and other animal rights terrorist groups. But independent media reports and state agriculture groups also provided critical information.
Animal Agriculture Alliance