A global information service about animal rights extremism

ARE Incident Map

TE-SAT 2013 EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report

Animal Rights extremism is reported as 'single-issue terrorism' in this annual report. TE-SAT 2013 notes that ARE groups are making effective use of the internet for harassment campaigns and that there is increased cooperation between violent ARE groups and militant 'eco-anarchists'.


In 2012, as in previous years, there were no attacks or arrests related to single-issue terrorism reported by EU Member States. However, Austria, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the Republic of Ireland and the UK reported a number of incidents or arrests related to animal rights extremism (ARE).

In July 2012, British and Dutch citizens were arrested in Amsterdam on behalf of the British authorities in connection with ARE. The premises raided included the office of Dutch animal rights organisation Respect voor Dieren (Respect for Animals). Various items were seized, including component parts of an improvised explosive device (IED). As part of the same operation, a member of extremist animal rights organisation Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) was arrested in the UK. Judicial proceedings are underway against all three individuals on suspicion of blackmailing Huntingdon Life Sciences.

ARE groups, such as the Anti-Dierproeven Coalitie (ADC, Anti-Animal Testing Coalition), the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) and SHAC, carry out legitimate protests and illegal direct actions and have a clandestine cell structure. They focus their activities on hunting associations, the fur industry, factory farming, breeding facilities and the pharmaceutical industry. Usually, these actions range from vandalism, the liberation of animals and public disorder, to serious acts of destruction and include the use of improvised incendiary devices (IIDs) or IEDs.

Transport companies and their employees, as well as investors and shareholders of the affected companies, are sometimes randomly selected as targets. Although EU Member States report a decrease in criminal activity and direct action by ARE groups in 2012 compared to previous years, research companies and institutions have voiced concerns that criminal acts associated with ARE have been under-reported in 2012.

Members of ARE groups make very effective use of Internet websites for recruitment, propaganda, and intimidation or harassment campaigns against their targets. In January 2012, an airline company involved in the global transportation of laboratory animals suffered attacks known as ‘email bombs’, in which an email address is bombarded with emails of similar content in a short period of time.

The original report is available on our website here.