'Stay tuned': Animal rights activists scale Govt building to demand 'defund meat'

26 October 2021, 07:30 | Updated: 26 October 2021, 12:00

Animal Rebellion campaigners have scaled the front of a government building
Animal Rebellion campaigners have scaled the front of a government building. Picture: Animal Rebellion

By Megan Hinton

Animal Rebellion protestors have scaled the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs building in central London.

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The protestors say they will take action until the government "defunds meat and subsidises a plant-based transition", demanding support for a plant-based food system at COP26.

The group, which is an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, began protesting at the government office in Westminster this morning.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan police said officers were called to the protest shortly after 6am this morning after receiving reports the building had been scaled by protesters.

"Shortly after 6am we were alerted to a small group of protestors climbing the outside of a government building in Marsham Street to access the roof.

"Officers are on scene with the London Fire Brigade and are engaging with the protestors. As yet, there have been no arrests."

Animal Rebellion says they intend to remain on the building suspended in hammocks
Animal Rebellion says they intend to remain on the building suspended in hammocks. Picture: Animal Rebellion

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The protesters climbed the building in the early hours of this morning, unveiling a banner that reads "COP26: Invest in a Plant-Based Future".

Animal Rebellion say they intend to remain on the building, suspended in hammocks, until UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledges to cut all taxpayer support for animal agriculture and promises to urge all world leaders to do the same when they attend the COP26 summit later this week. 

Animal Rebellion protesters at Arlo Dairy Distribution

Animal Rebellion spokesperson Bel Jacobs said: "The UK Government is simultaneously saying that it is a world leader in climate change whilst propping up the unsustainable and unprofitable meat and dairy industry, one that emits disproportionate amounts of greenhouse gases.

"This hypocrisy has to end – we need to defund meat and subsidise plant-based alternatives instead."

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Animal Rebellion took to Twitter to tell the public to "stay tuned" for updates adding: "On the Meat and Dairy is one of the leading producers of greenhouse gases and causes 90 per cent of Amazon deforestation. 

"World leaders at cannot talk about meeting the Paris Climate targets and securing global net zero without addressing that our food system is destroying our planet."

This story is being updated.