Extremists Responsible For Attack On CA Feed Yard Must Be Held Accountable
January 12, 2012 - Animal rights extremists are taking credit for Sunday's disturbing attack on the largest feed yard in California, where an act of arson destroyed 14 trucks used to transport cattle. Thankfully, no humans or animals were injured in this despicable terrorist action. While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, the Animal Agriculture Alliance believes it is unacceptable for any group to praise this direct assault on American agriculture.
In an anonymous communiqué provided to the media, the North American Animal Liberation Front Press Office indicated that unnamed activists placed "containers of accelerant were placed beneath a row of 14 trucks with 4 digital timers used to light 4 of the containers and kerosene-soaked rope carrying the fire to the other 10". The group reported that "we were extremely pleased" to see that all 14 trucks "were a total loss" with some being "completely melted to the ground". The message ended with a call for other would-be terrorists to commit additional acts of violence against agriculture producers.
The Alliance would like to echo the sentiments of John Harris, CEO of Harris Ranch, who issued the following statement following the attack on his operation:
"We must live in a society that is safe for all and no one can tolerate violence such as this. ALF [Animal Liberation Front] and similar terrorist groups pose a real threat and I am confident that the many law enforcement agencies working on this case will bring them to justice soon."
The ALF is listed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a domestic terrorist organization. Other animal industries have also been targets of its violence. For example, scientists using animals for life-saving medical research at UCLA have frequently been threatened with bomb scares and intimidation. In the U.S. and abroad, ALF and other extremist groups have issued death threats, committed vandalism, and hacked websites, all in the name of their distorted ideology. There is no place for such violent acts of intimidation in our country, or any country.
While other extreme organizations may choose strategic action that does not include direct violence, they do share ALF's ultimate goal: to eliminate American animal agriculture in entirety. This incident shines light on the need for the agricultural community to be able to protect itself from these senseless bullying tactics by those who seek to destroy the industry by any means.
It is important to note that these groups work collaboratively and are strategically connected in many ways – please see the Alliance's "Activist Web" for details. For example, John "J.P." Goodwin, who now serves as the Director of Animal Cruelty Policy for the Humane Society of the United States, formerly served as a spokesman for the ALF. After a 1997 fire that caused $1 million in damage to a Utah feed co-op, he told the Deseret News that he was "ecstatic" about the results.
The individuals responsible for Sunday's attack must be brought to justice and report for their destructive actions. It is also imperative that activists be held accountable for their attempts to undermine farmers, ranchers and meat processors through use of videos depicting alleged mistreatment of animals for the purposes of gaining media attention and fundraising – all in an effort to drive their vegan agenda. Many of them appear to have been severely edited or staged, and yet the activists involved receive no repercussions for having contributed to the alleged animal suffering.
While these extremist tactics may seem unrelated, the public must recognize the threat posed by individuals who fraudulently attain employment on farms, ranches, and in food production companies for the sole purpose of destroying their business. These individuals have access to internal security information and protocols, and blatantly disregard all company policies pertaining to the care and handling of animals – all for the sake of creating video that can devastate the company's reputation, and therefore, its business.
Make no mistake – the ultimate goal of groups such as ALF is to put a stop to America's animal agriculture industry, and the safe, abundant, and affordable products it provides. This goal does not reflect the values of most Americans. The Alliance works continuously to protect farmers and ranchers from activists by providing security resources and training, including an updated guide entitled "Farm Security for the 21st Century". To request additional security resources, visit www.animalagalliance.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Alliance:
The Animal Agriculture Alliance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a broad-based coalition of individual farmers, ranchers, producer organizations, suppliers, packer-processors, scientists, veterinarians, and retailers. The Alliance's mission is to communicate the important role of animal agriculture to our nation's economy, productivity, vitality, and security. The Alliance shows how animal well-being is central to producing safe, high-quality, affordable food and other products essential to our daily lives.