Fears of a milk shortage were sparked after vegan protesters blocked some of Britain’s largest milk processors yesterday.
Animal Rebellion arrived at Arla and Muller’s plants at dawn to block shipments of milk and other dairy products.
The vegan protesters, who oppose animal husbandry, stopped company trucks before boarding them while others entered company facilities and scaled milk silos and loading docks.
The blockade included the UK’s largest dairy distribution center near Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, owned by Arla, and three Muller-operated plants in Droitwich, Severnside and Bridgwater.
Thames Valley Police announced last night that they had arrested 23 protesters at the Arla site.
While Gloucestershire Police said they arrested eight people at the Severnside Dairy site and the plant remained operational during the protest.
The protest group, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, admits it has defied a recent High Court injunction obtained by Arla to stop the protests.
Thames Valley Police have confirmed that 23 people have been arrested
The group (pictured) climbed into silos to disrupt distribution
At Arla’s Aylesbury site, the group stopped trucks and climbed to the top to stop the milk delivery
Arla Aylesbury’s distribution center processes 10% of UK dairy
Thames Valley Police said the protest reduced their “ability to effectively manage crime and protect vulnerable people”.
It said its supporters will continue to take non-violent direct action until the government backs the move away from livestock and fisheries through a transition to a plant-based system.
The injunction Arla sought to stop the protests warned that if the action lasted two weeks, there would be “inevitable milk shortages on supermarket shelves”.
Arla yesterday said production was running normally, adding: “We have protesters at our Aylesbury site and are working closely with local police to resolve the situation.”
And Muller UK & Ireland added: “We are disappointed that we are being attacked by a small number of campaigners who do not represent the 96 per cent of adults in the UK who choose milk every week and we will ensure that the supply is maintained.
“Dairy products are affordable and full of nutrients that benefit our bodies. During a livelihood crisis, it is wrong to try to prevent it from reaching families.”
Deputy Chief Constable Dennis Murray of Thames Valley Police said: “The protest caused some disruption at Arla Foods premises and the A41 for a short time but has now been safely resolved with 23 arrests.
“Our response to the protest has limited our ability to effectively manage crime and protect vulnerable people across the Thames Valley.
Thames Valley Police respect the right to protest peacefully but will take action if protest activity harms others going about their lawful business.
Animal Rebellion has faced criticism in the past from fellow vegans, who called the group’s actions “harmful” and “hypocritical” after milk was poured all over the floor at Harrods
The group is calling on the government to “revitalize the land and ocean that has been freed up” and help farmers transition to a plant-based system
“Those who commit crimes while protesting are always treated severely by Thames Valley Police.
“The protesters have now left the premises and patrols are continuing in the area.”
Arla Aylesbury’s distribution center processes 10% of UK dairy, with all four centers combined distributing around two billion liters of fresh milk each year.
The group is calling on the government to “revitalize the land and ocean that has been freed up” and help farmers transition to a plant-based system.
According to Thames Valley Police, protesters have now left the Aylesbury site and patrols are continuing in the area
Protesters stopped and, starting at 5am today, climbed onto company trucks, scaled milk silos and loading docks
Animal Rebellion were recently filmed pouring milk across the floor of Harrods Food Hall, which drew widespread criticism from social media users, who called the stunt “stupid”.
Twitter users pointed out that the protesters – who also staged sit-ins at other supermarkets and cleared shelves of milk and dairy products – only “made a mess for the cleaners to clean up” and made it “dangerous for disabled customers”.
One said: ‘You haven’t hurt the dairy industry here, you’ve given them a big new order.
“You hurt the employees in the store (who may be fined for the cost of the new order), you hurt poor and insecure customers, you made it dangerous for disabled customers.
‘What’s wrong with you?’
Another said: “Why do you clowns always make trouble for the working class, never for your own?”
The group was even criticized by fellow vegans, who called their actions at Harrods “harmful” and “hypocritic”.
One account began the conversation by saying: “Am I the only vegan who was more concerned than impressed by the Harrods milk protest?
Other reports were quick to agree, with one saying they “didn’t get it” and it made “vegans look like idiots”.
Another report said: “The very idea of this protest irks me.
“It’s hypocritical at best.”
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11179189/Animal-Rebellion-claim-cut-milk-supply-police-say-arrested-23-people.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Animal Rebellion claims they ‘cut off’ milk supplies as police say they arrested 23 people