Effective multicast congestion control mechanism is urgently needed with the deployment of multimedia multicast application in Internet. Layered multicast is considered to be an efficient approach to cope with the network heterogeneity. Receiver-driven layered multicast schemes cannot respond to the congestion quickly because of both the delay for detecting congestion and the long IGMP leave delay. And they are significantly instable and unfriendly to TCP. In this paper, a novel congestion control scheme for layered multicast, called active network-based layered multicast congestion control scheme (ANLMCC), is proposed, taking advantage of the programmability and flexible service customization capability of active network. ANLMCC adopts novel mechanisms such as active layering with mark, filtering layer with priority, and hop-by-hop interactive signaling mechanism between the active nodes. Simulation results show that ANLMCC can respond to the congestion more quickly and is more stable and TCP-friendly, and can greatly improve the performance of layered multicast applications.