Animal Liberation Activists Burn 14 Trucks at Meat CompanyMajor arson attack at a California feedlot.
Update, 1-11-12 @ 10.50am: The original post mistakenly credited this action to the Animal Liberation Front. In fact the ALF did not take credit for the fire. This action was claimed by anonymous activists who chose to not claim the arson under any title. There could be serious reasons for such decisions, and it is important these actions are represented with accuracy. – Peter Young
In an anonymous statement sent to the Animal Liberation Press Office, anonymous animal rights activists took credit for setting fire to 14 trucks at Harris Ranch, one of the country’s largest feedlots, located in Coalinga, California.
According to reports, the arson occurred in a fenced-off area early Sunday. A communique took credit for the fire Monday, and the feedlot confirmed that 14 trucks were burned.
Also known as “Cowschwitz”, Harris Ranch (also called Harris Farms) sends up to 250,000 cows to slaughter annually.
Details of the fire
The fire started just before 4 a.m. in the truck storage area at Highway 145 and Interstate 5. Several tractor-trailer rigs were said to be in flames when fire trucks arrived. It took firefighters about 45 minutes to put out the blaze.
The dollar amount of damage is still being assessed.
Activists describe the actionThe communique describes how they carried out the arson:
“containers of accelerant were placed beneath a row of 14 trucks with four digital timers used to light four of the containers and kerosene-soaked rope carrying the fire to the other 10. … We were extremely pleased to see that all 14 trucks ‘were a total loss.”
And they highlighted the weaknesses in even the most secure targets -
“…despite guards, a constant worker presence, and razorwire fence, the enemy is still vulnerable.”
Harris Ranch CEO John Harris issued a statement which read, in part:
“I had suspected Animal Liberation Front may have been involved and now they are in fact claiming responsibility for it with multiple details… They are clearly a terrorist group intent on stopping American agriculture from producing the world’s safest food supply. This attack has not at all impacted our company’s operations and has only reinforced our commitment to produce high quality beef.
We must live in a society that is safe for all and no one can tolerate violence such as this. ALF 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.”
This is one of the largest and boldest underground animal liberation actions in recent memory. Anyone who has pulled off I-5 to look at Harris Ranch will know it is a heavily fortified complex. Many who have stopped to look at the feedlot have reported being confronted threatened with arrest by the farm’s private security.
The communique concluded with an implied promise of future actions:
“Until next time…”
The entire communique reads in full:“at about 3:40 am on sunday, january 8th, 14 cattle trucks caught fire at the harris feeding company in coalinga, ca. 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 (a tactic adapted from Home Alone 2 [if you're going to try this make sure to use kerosene, gasoline dries to quickly]). we weren’t sure how well this was going to work, so we waited until there was news reports before writing this. we were extremely pleased to see that all 14 trucks “were a total loss” with some being “completely melted to the ground.we’re not going to use this space to expound upon the horrors and injustices of factory farming. there is more than enough armchair-activists and those of passive politics who are more than willing to do that (anything to keep from getting their hands dirty). we, the unsilent minority (the 1%, if you will), choose a more direct form of action.we’re not delusional enough to believe that this action will shut down the harris feeding company, let alone have any effect on factory farming as a whole. but we maintain that this type of action still has worth, if not solely for the participant’s peace of mind, then to show that despite guards, a constant worker presence, and razorwire fence, the enemy is still vulnerable.finally, to all those who fantasize and romanticize about direct action yet remain on the fence: there is a lot of stuff that needs to be destroyed and we can’t count on spontaneous combustion and careless welders to do all the work.until next time…”