Animal Rebellion protestors want to see an end to unsustainable and cruel animal agriculture practices and a move towards plant-based agriculture.
Vegan protesters have targeted four dairy production sites across England today aiming to ‘shut down’ distribution of milk products for weeks.
From 5am this morning, activists went to three sites operated by Müller this morning in Droitwich, Severnside and Bridgwater, as well as to the UK’s biggest dairy distribution centre operated by Arla Foods in Aylesbury. That facility produces 10% of the UK’s dairy and protesters hope to significantly disrupt the UK’s supply, leading to fears of ‘inevitable’ milk shortages.
It comes the day after fellow protesters from Animal Rebellion staged sit-down protests in dairy aisles of high-end supermarkets to try and stop shoppers buying milk. Demonstrators spread a banner across a road to try and stop distribution of products, and were also pictured climbing up onto milk silos and trucks. It is part of planned ‘disruptive action’ this month by the group, who are demanding an ‘urgent and immediate transition to a plant-based food system’.
Witness testimony to the High Court last week revealed that during a 24-hour blockade of the Aylesbury site in August 2021, Arla lost £170,000 in revenue. The company’s Joanne Taylor said: ‘If, as is anticipated, the threatened protest action lasts for 2 weeks and operations at the Aylesbury Site are halted (or severely restricted) for the duration of that period, it is inevitable that there will be milk shortages on supermarket shelves (which is the desired aim of the Animal Rebellion group).’
Protester Steve Bone, a father and photographer from Thorpe-le-Soken who climbed a milk silo at the Arla site in Aylesbury, said: ‘Along with over 30 brave individuals, I am defying a High Court Injunction and risking prison to send a message to the UK Government that we need a plant-based future to restore the British countryside and all the wonderful nature lost to animal farming.’
Defying an injunction can be considered a contempt of court, which could lead to imprisonment. Mr Bone continued: ‘Farmers can, and should, be supported in the necessary transition to plant-based production. A plant-based future would enable massive carbon drawdown and mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis. We are offering the solution; our government needs to take it.’
Another demonstrator, John Appleton, a former employee of Arla for six years, added: ‘I’ve seen this industry first hand; I know the struggle that farmers and workers go through every single day. We need a food system that works for them, everyone else, and nonhuman animals. Governmental support for this is vital to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies. We know the twin solution: transition to a plant-based food system and a mass rewilding programme.’
The group has vowed to heavily disrupt the supply of dairy ‘day after day’ during September, branding the industry ‘cruel and destructive’.
Animal Rebellion, who are a sister group of environmental activists Extinction Rebellion, claimed to have ‘shut down’ production at four sites.
However, Arla said their production was running as normal. A spokesperson for Arla Foods said: ‘We currently have protestors at our Aylesbury site and are working closely with local police to resolve the situation. ‘The safety and security of our colleagues at the site is our number one priority and production is currently running as normal.’
A spokesperson for Müller UK & Ireland said: ‘We are disappointed to be targeted by a small number of activists who don’t represent the 96% of adults in Britain who choose milk every week, and we will ensure that supplies are maintained. Dairy is affordable and packed with nutrients that benefit our bodies. During a cost of living crisis it is wrong to try to prevent it from reaching families, including vulnerable members of society.’
Original source: https://metro.co.uk