Animal Rebellion blocks UK’s largest dairy factory

A protestor sits in a bamboo construction in front of the factory
Activists are blocking UK's biggest dairy factory, photo: Animal Rebellion

Around 50 activists from the animal and climate justice movement Animal Rebellion have been blocking Arla Aylesbury, one of UK’s largest dairy factories, since 5 am Tuesday. 

With their bodies, bamboo towers, vans and concrete lock-ons, they’re blocking the entrances of the dairy processor in an attempt to prevent in-going milk deliveries and outgoing dairy products. 

In a statement, Animal Rebellion called on Arla to “transition to plant-based production by 2025 to address the catastrophic impacts dairy production has on the climate and animals.” 

The Animal Rebellion statement also referenced the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which issued a “code red” warning on the impacts of the climate crisis.

“Companies like Arla claim to be leading the way in tackling the climate crisis,” James Ozden, a spokesperson for Animal Rebellion, said. 

But “until these big multinationals start to talk seriously about the inevitable need to transition our food system to one that is plant-based, their words are empty,” Ozden added.

The aim of targeting a dairy processor, Animal Rebellion said, is to raise awareness: “Dairy is a huge contributor to the climate crisis. It flies under the radar compared to meat, but it is just as damaging for the planet and animal welfare.”

An Arla Foods UK spokesperson confirmed there were protestors outside the Aylesbury processing plant. In a statement, Arla said that “access to the site for our larger vehicles is being blocked. We are working to manage the impact of this.” 

The Arla statement added that they are “committed to producing dairy for the UK in the most sustainable way possible”.

In 2019 Arla was listed as the biggest UK dairy company by The Grocer. Arla’s UK revenue in 2020 hit £2.12 billion (€2.38 billion), up from £1.95 billion (€2.28 billion) in 2019. 

Animal Rebellion describes itself as a “mass movement using nonviolent civil disobedience to call for a just, sustainable plant-based food system.”

The activists are aiming to block the facility for at least two days.

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