Police have arrested fifteen people in connection with an ongoing protest at a dairy plant in Bridgwater.
The protest was at Muller Bridgwater and began in the early hours of Sunday (September 4th) and continued on Monday (September 5th).
Animal Rebellion protesters broke onto the site of the Müller facility, drilling holes in truck tyres to disrupt the company’s distribution.
The acts come amid a weekend of protests at dairy production areas across England.
Animal Rebellion said it was taking the action after receiving no response to a letter delivered to Downing Street in August, warning of disruptive action this month unless progress towards its demands was made.
The group said it wanted “wholesale governmental support for farmers and fishing communities to transition to a plant-based food system and programme of rewilding that will secure a future for generations to come”.
Chief Inspector Dan Forster said: “A small number of people accessed the private site at just after 6am on Sunday.”
“Seven people were arrested yesterday while a further eight were taken into custody on Monday.”
“They were arrested on suspicion of offences including aggravated trespass, criminal damage and conspiracy to commit criminal damage.”
“Six of those arrested – all men – have since been bailed with conditions while the others, six men and three woman, remain in custody.”
“Specialist resources, including the Protest Removal Team, were brought in to assist with the policing response after the protesters climbed on top of objects and locked themselves to them.”
“The protest caused minimal disruption to plant operations and thankfully did not have any impact on the wider public or cause any issues on the surrounding roads.”
“We’re working with the owners of the plant to ensure it has adequate security in place to prevent people gaining unauthorised access in the future as enquiries into this protest are carried out.”
“We fully respect the fundamental democratic right to protest, but where criminal offences are being committed we’ll always seek to use the powers available to us to take robust action, as we have done in this operation.”
More protests are planned unless negotiations take place with the government, the group said.