[ - Animal - Liberation - Primer -]

The A.L.F. Primer

A guide to direct action and the animal liberation front
second edition


Before you even consider undertaking any action read this entire guide, then read it again. Know every detail inside and out, particularly those parts regarding preparation and security.


This guide is dedicated to the brave men and women of the Animal Liberation Front. In this age of insanity you may be branded a terrorist, but you will one day be remembered as a selfless warrior who dared to fight for what is right.


This guide is anti-copyrighted. Any reproduction, in part or in full, without the expressed, written consent of the authors would be greatly appreciated.

Legal Disclaimer

This guide is for your entertainment, information, and general interest only. It is not meant to encourage the activities described within. We're just writing this for the heck of it. We would never dream of encouraging someone to use the proven-effective methods presented within to free innocent beings from the depths of hell, or to destroy the tools used to torture, mutilate, and murder them. We'd much prefer you sit at home watching TV and remain apathetic.

The History of the A.L.F.

The Animal Liberation Front has it's roots in 1960's England. At this time a small group of people began sabotaging hunts there. This group, the Hunt Saboteurs Association, would lay false scents, blow hunting horns to send hounds off in the wrong direction, and chase animals to safety. In 1972, after effectively ending a number of traditional hunting events across England, members of the Hunt Saboteurs decided more militant action was needed, and thus began the Band of Mercy. They moved on to destroying guns and sabotaging hunter's vehicles by breaking windows and slashing tires. They also began fighting other forms of animal abuse, burning seal hunting boats as well as pharmaceutical laboratories. After the jailing of two Band of Mercy members in 1975, word spread, support grew, and the Animal Liberation Front was begun in 1976.

Who are the A.L.F.?

Members of the Animal Liberation Front act directly to stop animal suffering, at the risk of losing their own freedom. Direct action refers to illegal actions performed to bring about animal liberation. These are usually one of two things: rescuing animals from laboratories or other places of abuse, or inflicting economic damage on animal abusers. Due to the illegal nature of A.L.F. activities, activists work anonymously, and there is no formal organization to the A.L.F. There is no office, no leaders, no newsletter, and no official membership. Anyone who carries out direct action according to A.L.F. guidelines is a member of the A.L.F.

Animal Liberation Front Guidelines

  • To liberate animals from places of abuse, i.e. fur farms, laboratories, factory farms, etc. and place them in good homes where they may live out their natural lives free from suffering.
  • To inflict economic damage to those who profit from the misery and exploitation of animals.
  • To reveal the horror and atrocities committed against animals behind locked doors by performing non-violent direct actions and liberations.
  • To take all necessary precautions against hurting any animal, human and non-human.

The third section contains a very important word - non-violent. The A.L.F. does not, in any way, condone violence against any animal, human or non- human. Any action involving violence is by it's definition not an A.L.F. action, any person involved not an A.L.F. member. The fourth section must be strictly adhered to. In over 20 years, and thousands of actions, nobody has ever been injured or killed in an A.L.F. action.

One View of the A.L.F.

One A.L.F. member put it this way, "I see participating in the A.L.F.'s raids not as a momentary forfeiture of the highest human values - goodness, generosity and the like - but rather as an embodiment of them... We feel a sense of urgency for the animals whose pain and imminent death is absolutely real to them today."

Does Direct Action Work?

Susan Paris, president of vivisection front group Americans For Medical Progress (AMP), admits the Animal Liberation Front has had a large impact on vivisectionists.

She writes, "Because of terrorist acts by animal activists like Coronado, crucial research projects have been delayed or scrapped. More and more of the scarce dollars available to research are spent on heightened security and higher insurance rates. Promising young scientists are rejecting careers in research. Top-notch researchers are getting out of the field."

The August 1993 Report to Congress on Animal Enterprise Terrorism describes the A.L.F.'s effectiveness as, "Where the direct, collateral, and indirect effects of incidents such as this are factored together, A.L.F.'s professed tactic of 'economic sabotage' can be considered successful, and it's objectives, at least towards the victimized facility, fulfilled."

If we look past the "terrorist" rhetoric, we can see that it's a fact - direct action works. If you don't take their word for it, ask any animal rescued by the A.L.F. and I'm sure they would agree that direct action works.

Are You Ready for the A.L.F.?

Direct action is nothing to take lightly. The moment you carry out your first action you are at risk of being arrested. Direct action is very demanding, physically and mentally. Are you in top physical shape? If you were being chased by a police officer, could you outrun him? Could you scale a barbed wire fence? Living under the constant stress of possible arrest can take its toll mentally as well.

A.L.F. activists should also remain drug and alcohol free, as these things decay physical and mental ability, give the police another reason to investigate you, and waste money better spent on supplies.

Veganism is obviously encouraged, as it is both morally responsible, and will better your physical condition. Some A.L.F. members will also limit their association with mainstream animal rights groups, as to remain less visible to police investigations.

Finding People to Work With

One of the most important steps towards getting involved in direct action is finding people to work with. In any A.L.F. action you are putting your freedom on the line, so you must be positive you can completely trust the people you are working with. It is essential to find people who will not sell out you or the movement should an arrest occur.

You should always work with people who you know well, people who you know you can rely on. Security is an important issue in direct action, so people with a tendency to brag or who won't be able to keep their mouth shut are a bad idea. Starting your own cell is better than joining an existing one, since if you know of an existing one, their security obviously isn't too good.

Asking someone if they want to get involved is never an easy thing to do. Bring up the subject in a general way and see how the person feels about direct action first, and move on from there.

Cells usually consist of 2 to 5 members. Use the minimum number of people needed for each action, but don't forget the importance of look outs. Having extra people unnecessarily puts them at risk.

One person should be chosen as the leader of the group. This doesn't mean that person has any special power or privileges, and it often won't come into play at all. But if during an actions things go wrong, someone will need to make split second decisions, and in this case there is no time for democracy.

Progress as a group, starting with minor actions to get used to each other, discussing after each action what went well and what didn't, and discussing how to improve and hit harder.

Getting Started

Before you even think about undertaking any action, read. Know this guide inside and out. Before you do anything you'd better know how to do it right, or you may wind up in a lot of trouble. As with anything, the first time is the hardest. So start small. If your first action is a liberation of a large laboratory with high security you are going to have problems. Start by gluing locks or some spray paint.

You can go about finding a target a few ways. First, you may want to decide what kind of establishment you want to target - a fur shop, a butcher shop, a factory farm or slaughterhouse, or maybe a fast food restaurant?

If you are planning on getting involved in direct action you are hopefully already aware of various animal rights issues and probably know where and how to find whichever kind of abuser you want to target.

Your local animal rights group is probably aware of abusers in the area, but keep in mind that local animal rights groups are the first people the police will question. The easiest way to find a target is to let your fingers do the walking.

A phone book can direct you to all your local fur shops, butcher shops, etc. If fast food restaurants are your goal, you can't go down the street without seeing one. Once you've begun and know what you are doing, go big. The more actions you take part in the more likely it gets that you will get caught, so be sure that when you hit you hit hard.


After selecting your target become familiar with it. You may want to study a road map and become familiar with the surrounding area. You should first visit the sight in daylight. Park well away in a non-suspicious place, like the parking lot of a large store or a side road with many cars. Approach on foot and get as close as possible.

Take a good look around (without looking suspicious) and think about how you are going to do whatever it is you are going to do.

Once back to your car, draw a map including everything you can remember. Now it is time to draw up your exact plan. Leave nothing to chance.

Figure out every detail and be certain that everyone is completely familiar with every detail. You don't want to find yourself at the site trying to get your act together. Next, return to the site once more before your action, this time at night. Follow your route to the site just as it will be during your action. You can think of this as a dress rehearsal.

Get as close to the target as you can. This should also be as close to the time of day your action will take place (actions are obviously almost always carried out at night), so that you can see what security and other factors are in effect at that time. Always plan for things to go wrong.

Know what you will do if you come in contact with a security officer or police. Know which way you will run, if you will go as a group or alone, and where you will rendezvous. These recommendations are general. For something as simple as gluing locks, less intense planning is needed. For something as complex as a raid, a lot more planning may be necessary.


Consider leaving your immediate area for actions; repeatedly working close to home can be a tip off to police. Also be sure to not keep a regular schedule of days and times your actions take place - if the police establish your pattern it's one more thing they can use to catch you.

If you choose to report your actions, don't name your specific group. If so, the police will know just what actions are carried out by your group, making finding you easier.

Always have a story set if stopped by the police. Know where it is you will say you are coming from and going to. If you are going to be using your car for actions, remove all bumper stickers. Also be sure all lights, license plates, etc. are OK. Drive carefully and legally.

Don't give them reason to stop you. Be sure to have enough gas before leaving for an action, so you don't have to stop on the way, or especially while transporting animals. Clothing is important as well.

Wear nothing with identifiable markings. Consider many targets are equipped with security cameras, and always assume the one you are hitting is. Any tattoos should be covered, any piercing covered or removed. You want to wear dark colors, but all black can look suspicious, so just keep it dark but not unusual.

Ski masks are commonly employed during direct action, but be ready to ditch them if need be - they can be quite incriminating, especially on a summer night. A hooded sweatshirt, a baseball cap, and a scarf are a better idea in some locations. On high risk operations you may want to get some oversized shoes from a thrift shop to avoid leaving tell tale footprints. Stuffing the toes will make them wearable.

Another option is to keep a pair of shoes used just for direct action with your tools at a safe house. If this is the case, only put them on while on the way to an action and take them off on the way back, as not leave corresponding footprints around your house or on your carpet.

Wearing socks over your shoes or covering the soles in duct tape also works well against footprints. For actions where the police are going to be investigating more heavily, even hairs and fibers on clothing may be a problem. In this case you can buy clothes from a thrift store just for that night, and throw them away afterwards. Another possibility on high risk operations is to wear boiler suits, which cover all your clothes, and can be removed quickly after back to the car.

Always wear gloves and be mindful of fingerprints. Be careful of using thin latex gloves, since fingerprints can be left through them. Put one pair over another if you choose to use them. Fingerprints will also be left on the inside of the glove, so if you use them , dispose of them separately from any other evidence. Be careful whenever purchasing equipment for an action.

Buying a gallon of bright red paint a block from home and dumping it on the McDonald's two blocks away the same day is not a good idea. Purchase everything far away from home and always with cash, as well as long before an action is to take place when possible. Be careful of using materials that will give away where you are from.

For instance, if using newspapers in an arson attack far from home, using your local paper will be dead give-away. Wipe everything you are taking with you completely to remove fingerprints, in case anything is dropped or has to be left behind. You have to scrub hard to remove prints, and some soap or rubbing alcohol may help. Clean everything as if it is going to be left behind, since sooner or later something you didn't plan to leave will drop. For this same reason you should take as little as possible with you, and connect whatever you must take to your body.

A rubber band through your belt loop with each end attached to your key chain will keep it secure, even if you are being chased and have to go headfirst over a fence, etc. Even if you don't touch something while purchasing it by wearing gloves for instance, wipe it anyway so it can't be traced Obviously, do not have drugs, weapons, or anything else illegal on you or in you car during an action. If you are using tools such as crowbars or bolt cutters (this is mostly for liberations), sharpen or file them after every action, since slight markings on the tool can leave traceable markings on what is opened.

Also, never keep tools at your house. If you are keeping tools used in actions, store them at a safe house. A safe house is the house of a person not involved in the actions at all, someone who the police would never investigate. Never buy cheap tools, especially if you are using walkie talkies. Your freedom and the animal's lives are on the line, so go for the quality equipment.


The government is actively monitoring animal liberationists, particularly suspected members of the A.L.F., so watch your back. They are opening mail and tapping phone lines, so never ever ever say anything incriminating over the phone, mail, or e-mail.

Always assume that you are being watched and your house may be searched at any time (they have gone so far as dismantling heating ducts while searching the houses of suspected A.L.F. members, so never assume anything is hidden well enough). Discussing direct action works on a need-to-know basis.

Never tell anyone anything that they do not absolutely need to know. Never discuss actions with people not involved, for your safety and theirs. If someone asks you about the A.L.F., say that you aren't involved, but you have heard or read about it.

That way you can discuss the A.L.F. without incriminating yourself. If someone says something incriminating over the phone, quickly excuse yourself and hang up before they can get another word in, then explain to them what they did wrong next time you see them in person. Keep in mind that homes, cars, and anywhere else can be bugged. Try to discuss actions in areas that are secure (where nobody can overhear), but that they would be unable to bug. Take a walk through the woods, for instance.

Except for the purpose of improving your group and it's effectiveness, once an action has taken place, never discuss it again. The damage was done, animals' lives were saved, and that's the important thing. Bringing up old "war stories" is an unnecessary risk. All this may seem like paranoia, but the government will go to any length stop us.

Besides, it's better to be a little paranoid than in jail. Effectiveness Start small, then move on to bigger things. Even the simplest actions take practice to get right, so try one thing at a time until you've gotten it down. Once you've mastered the small things, use them in combination to really ruin an abuser's day.

Think about possibilities of combining breaking windows and paint bombs for instance. Be sure to start with the quietest parts when doing a number of things. What is outlined here are general methods used by the A.L.F. Every location and building is different, so after checking over your target, you should both modify these methods based on the specific area and target itself, and feel free to be creative and come up with new ways to do damage. Creativity will make you more effective, harder to catch since you are less predictable, and make whatever security they come up with less effective.


Windows are probably the easiest target available in most situations, yet large windows can cost hundreds, making them an ideal target. Glass etching fluid (hydrofluoric acid) is available in some larger arts and crafts stores.

Be sure to buy out of town on specialized items like this. It's a liquid or cream that eats through the surface of glass. If you can get a hold of some, put it in some kind of squeeze bottle, one of those plastic lemon ones for instance, and off you go.

If you get the cream it can also be applied with a paintbrush, allowing slogans to be written on the window. It's potent stuff, so be careful not to get it on your skin. Working quickly at the target you'll probably make somewhat of a mess with the bottle, so bring a plastic bag to throw it in after you are done. It's a quick and relatively safe way to cause some financial damage.

A less expensive but much noisier method is simply smashing windows. It is loud, so get ready to run. Aside from throwing a brick or rock, a popular way to do this is with a sling shot.

They are available in many sporting stores. You may have to patronize a store that sells hunting equipment to find one, but you can always offset this by returning at a later date and smashing their windows in turn.

The advantage of a sling shot is that you don't have to be right next to the window to break it. Sling shots can even be effective from moving cars. Try to fire symmetrical objects such as ball bearings or nuts. Rocks or bolts will be hard to control due to their lack of aerodynamics.

Whatever you shoot, be sure to wipe them for fingerprints first. It is always your responsibility to be certain there is nobody in or near the store that you could injure while firing. Shooting from totally inside the car (as in, don't hang out the side) will make detection a whole lot harder.

Air guns (a.k.a. BB guns) are another option. They don't do as much damage to the window as a brick might, but they are very quick, can be used easily from inside a car, and are very quiet. You can easily roll up to a store, stop in front for a second, roll down the window, take a shot, and leave. Unless someone is standing right there, nobody will notice a thing. Most of the time they will leave a small hole with a spider web crack, about the size of a silver dollar.

Occasionally they will completely shatter a window though, so be ready for it. There are generally two types of BB guns. The first look like rifles, and are powered by being manually pumped.

The second look like handguns, and are powered by CO2 cartridges. The cartridges only cost around $2 each and will give you around 150 shots. The advantage of the CO2 style is that they are generally semi-automatic (meaning it fires one shot every time you pull the trigger). Using such a device you could take out over a dozen windows in a couple of seconds.

They do look like real guns though, so if the police roll up, drop them immediately or risk getting shot.

The other option for breaking windows is a hammer. Tiler's hammers are best because of their pointed design; they can be found in most hardware stores. Windows, especially shatter proof, are tougher than they seem, so use a hammer of some weight.

The best time for this is a stormy night, the lack of visibility and noise of the storm providing excellent cover. You'll naturally think to hit windows in the center, but this is actually the strongest part.

Always go for the corners, as this is these weak spots. Another option with windows is glass glue, which permanently sticks glass to glass. Attaching a piece of glass with a slogan painted on the inside will require them to replace the whole window.


People in more urban areas are probably familiar with stores lowering metal shutters over their windows while closed. After having windows smashed, a target store in a less urban area may do the same. If you are dealing with the kind of shutters that are a grid, or bars, etching fluid, sling shots, or BB guns will still work fine. It's also possible to simply lock any kind of object to the shutter, making it impossible to open.

Sometimes they won't use all the holes for locks that are available on the shutter. If this is the case, put your own lock on there. Make sure it's fingerprint free first.

More difficult are the full shutters that don't have any holes. Hitting the shutter with a sledgehammer may work in both damaging the shutter, and possibly breaking the window if they are close enough together.

A more subtle method of dealing with full shutters is gluing the shutter locks, which you can see under the gluing locks section. If they have been dumb enough to only put a shutter over the main window and left a smaller one, like on a door, uncovered - break that one, then reach in and break the main one.


Vehicles are another easy target. There's a great number of ways to do damage to them. When doing a set of things to a vehicle, start with the quieter parts. Tires can be slashed. An ice pick, sharp knife, or anything of that sort will work.

Tires, especially on trucks, are tougher than they seem, so use something thick and strong that won't break or bend. Putting a hole in the side wall will make it impossible to repair. A pair of pillars can also be used to yank out the stem (the thing you put air in through), which will also flatten the tire. A large screwdriver can damage a radiator by punching holes in it.

Sand in the fuel tank can cause a good deal of damage if you are careful to show no signs of tampering and the vehicle is run. Using sugar does not work as well since it may merely block the filter and not get into the engine. If you are going to use sugar, use cubes in stead of granulated, as it's easier to handle. Sand can also be used in the crankcase. About 10 to 15 mothballs in the gas tank are equally effective.

One way to cause major damage is to go underneath the vehicle, locate the oil pan, punch a hole in it, or remove the drain plug, and carefully collect the oil in a container as to leave no sign you were there. Once the vehicle is driven a couple miles the engine will seize, doing as much as a couple thousand dollars damage.

If you can get to the engine, break anything breakable and cut any wire you can. Be sure not to cut the break cable though, unless you are going to give a warning that you have. Drano poured into the radiator will eventually eat through the copper tubing, destroying the vehicle's cooling system. A pound of salt will do the same.

Plaster of paris or BB's in the carburetor also result in heavy repair bills. With trucks, there are generally levers on each side that open the hood, which will tilt forward. If you can't get to the engine, you can also cut what you can from underneath.

Bring something heavy-duty like small bolt cutters, as regular wire cutters won't be able to handle metal cables and such. Either paint or paint stripper can do some damage to the paint job.

Windshield wipers can be broke off, headlights and windshields smashed or painted with etching fluid, and locks glued. Windshields are made to deflect rocks kicked up on the road, so only more direct methods of breaking them, such as a hammer, will work.