Growing menace: animal-rights terrorism

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The phenomenon of increased violence committed by some extremists in the name of animal rights is a growing cause for concern. In a major conference organized by Europol and Eurojust, 58 experts from law enforcement and prosecution authorities, plus representatives from 35 private sector organizations, met last week at Europol’s new headquarters in The Hague to discuss the issues behind this new trend.

Europol says that while the defense of the rights of animals and their welfare is legitimate and fully supported by European Union institutions, the increase in violence by extremists remains a concern for all of the conference participants. An example is the increased use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and Improvised Incendiary Devices (IIDs).

Violent animal rights extremists do not hesitate in sending threatening e-mails or making warning phone calls to their targets, often intimidating their family and committing physical assaults on their property, in so-called home visits. This has resulted in arson attacks on cars and property.

Single-issue extremist groups are also actively targeting the fur and pharmaceutical industries. This has included the mass release of animals and the destruction of feeding and water installations for the animals. Another tendency is that single-issue extremist groups (including anarchist groups) are supporting each others’ causes more and more.

The conference at Europol’s new headquarters was an important milestone in these efforts.” says Rob Wainwright, director of Europol.

Together with a tactical meeting held at Eurojust in April 2011 on the same topic, the conference clearly identified the need for a wider exchange of information to provide the member states’ authorities with a clear picture of ongoing criminal activities. There is a tendency to underestimate the importance of the phenomenon and of the links between criminal actions committed in different countries. Forensic analysis clearly demonstrates that some attacks committed in the EU have used the same modus operandi and that the devices used are similarly manufactured.

From the discussions at the conference, it became obvious that the violent criminal activities are often orchestrated at an international level. To this end, speakers said there was a need for increased law enforcement coordination at an international level, as well as more awareness on a local police and judicial level.

The conference recommendations include:

  • Encouraging member states’ authorities to prevent and fight all forms of violent criminal extremism and developing, at an EU level, a renewed dialogue on animal protection and animal welfare to allow all concerned parties to express their needs and concerns in a democratic way
  • Exploring the possibility of sharing technical data with the relevant parts of the corporate security community and their branch organizations, respecting the data protection regulations within Europol and Eurojust’s existing legal frameworks
  • Developing a common strategy with the corporate security community to further cooperation between EU institutions and the relevant parts of the private sector.

The above recommendations were supported by a conclusion that called for increased information exchange with Europol and Eurojust on attacks, prosecutions and convictions in animal rights extremism cases. This will lead to the identification of good practice, increased sharing of experience and ultimately a more efficient and coordinated approach in tackling the phenomenon.



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AlleyCat    
USA  |  July, 26, 2011 at 02:31 PM

The authorities wish us to express our "needs and concerns in a democratic way"....... I think we tried that to no avail, now it's time to do things our way, The ALF way!

Terry Ward    
Pa.  |  July, 26, 2011 at 03:41 PM

Alleycat you're going to have to do a lot better than that, you stupid brainless troll...

ALF supporter    
UK  |  July, 27, 2011 at 07:37 AM

There is no stoping animal liberationists!!! Long live the ALF!!!

Bea Elliott    
Florida  |  July, 27, 2011 at 08:52 AM

Verification of illegal and "threatening" activity is desperately needed to validate this article. But considering that even leafleting can be considered a "threat" to the meat/dairy/egg empire - Guess you can call any activity "violent". Why is it that when an operation is exposed as being "abusive" to nonhumans - It's considered an "isolated" case... Yet 99.9% of all vegan advocacy stays well within the bounds of the law and the extreme minority is cited as the norm? Go figure the twisted "logic" behind the propaganda machine.

Vegan-Cat Jones    
On My Couch  |  July, 27, 2011 at 09:20 AM

Where's the proof? Big strong words and accusations from a bunch of terrorists who murder and kill millions of animals each and every day. Dogs alone in the USA, 14,000 approximately are murdered because people won't spay and neuter. 50% of cattle who go to slaughter are eviscerated before they are even dead. Who's the terrorist? Two legged people murdering animals, enslaving, torturing and eating sentient beings and the apathetic ones who turn a blind eye, are the terrorists. Bliss is ignorance, not ignorance is bliss. Animal Activists who want to help and save animals, who care about animals and this planet are being made out to be these evil people. The only people who are the true evils are those, who perpetuate the murder, torture and enslavement of animals, those who skin animals alive, who profit from the pain of this planet. What is the definition of terrorist? Isn't it someone or a group of people who go about frightening, murdering, and oppressing? Sounds like an animal activist doesn't it. (for those who don't understand, I'm being sarcastic) Yes, we go around, petitioning, handing out pamphlets, working at shelters for animals, fostering animals, work real hard at finding homes for your unwanted dogs and cats, eating products and wearing products that don't contain animal parts; yes, we're the 'terrorists'. Ya, watch out of us. Oh brother. What a load of crap this article is. Vegan is a fancy word for people who give a 'f' about people, animals and this planet.

Vegan-Cat Jones    
Still, on my couch  |  July, 27, 2011 at 11:18 AM

You know, this whole articles intent is to troll. Thats what terrorists do, spread lies, insight arguments with hopes of showing people that animal activists are evil. Well, didn't work. What next? We're not going away and we won't stop being a voice, for the voiceless. Remember, if it your food had a face, its wrong to eat it. You have a face, right? So does a dog, so does a cow. Its wrong, its cruel and it is horrible to eat anything that had/has a face.

Luke Thomas    
Central Florida  |  July, 31, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Some animal activists have a screw loose. Unfortunately its because of that minority of people reflects on the whole. Animal activists do more harm than good resorting to crime and terrorism, when education and good old fashioned campaigning goes a lot further. People who insist on committing crimes of violence and fear, will be met with more and more laws passed making it nearly impossible to expose cruelty in a legitimate way-it takes away freedom of speech. Don't blame the government, but the animal rights extremists who made their bed-now everybody has to lie in it. If you take the law into your own hands, one is a terrorist. Sorry, but it's the truth.

Luke Thomas    
Central Florida  |  July, 31, 2011 at 12:56 PM

Some animal activists have a screw loose. Unfortunately its because of that minority of people reflects on the whole. Animal activists do more harm than good resorting to crime and terrorism, when education and good old fashioned campaigning goes a lot further. People who insist on committing crimes of violence and fear, will be met with more and more laws passed making it nearly impossible to expose cruelty in a legitimate way-it takes away freedom of speech. Don't blame the government, but the animal rights extremists who made their bed-now everybody has to lie in it. If one takes the law into one's own hands, one is a terrorist. Sorry, but it's the truth. I believe members of the "Animal Liberation Front" and other eco-terrorist groups who have no problem committing breaking and entering and destruction of private property has Antisocial Personality disorders and other mania and found a "home" to express their mental illness under the guise of "animal rights" when in reality their activities accomplishes absolutely *nothing*. Shame..for shame!

Raymond Cowan    
United Kingdom  |  September, 23, 2011 at 09:55 AM

Interesting that this article said that animals have rights in the EU. Errrr, no they don`t. The EU wants to use stray animals in animal testing labs, and most countries in the EU don`t have any animal welfare laws at all. So they have brought all the protests on themselves, and long may the protests continue. Some countries have an appalling record of animal abuse, and while it still goes on, we will protest.

Raymond Cowan    
United Kingdom  |  September, 23, 2011 at 09:55 AM

Interesting that this article said that animals have rights in the EU. Errrr, no they don`t. The EU wants to use stray animals in animal testing labs, and most countries in the EU don`t have any animal welfare laws at all. So they have brought all the protests on themselves, and long may the protests continue. Some countries have an appalling record of animal abuse, and while it still goes on, we will protest.


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