Animal rights activists stage blockades at McDonald’s distribution centres

·2-min read

Animal rights protesters are blockading four UK distribution centres for McDonald’s which they say will impact roughly 1,300 restaurants.

Animal Rebellion said they are using trucks and bamboo structures at the distribution sites in Hemel Hempstead, Basingstoke, Coventry and Heywood, Greater Manchester, to stop lorries from leaving depots.

The group are demanding McDonald’s commit to becoming fully plant-based by 2025.

Animal Rebellion blockade McDonalds distribution sites
Police officer at a cordon around Animal Rebellion protesters outside a McDonalds distribution site in Hemel Hempstead (Yui Mok/PA)

Animal Rebellion said they intend to remain at the sites for at least 24 hours, causing “significant disruption” to the McDonald’s supply chain.

In a video posted on Twitter, a protester in Coventry said the demonstration “feels like the absolutely right thing to do”.

She added: “We are in the middle of a climate and ecological emergency and we are still consuming huge quantities of meat on a scale that is just not sustainable for our planet.”

Animal Rebellion blockade McDonalds distribution sites
Protesters attached to a bamboo structure and releasing a yellow smoke canister in Basingstoke (Andrea Domeniconi/Animal Rebellion/PA)

Greater Manchester Police said officers are at a demonstration in Heywood which is preventing access to a distribution centre.

A spokesman said the officers are helping to “maintain safety whilst facilitating the right to peaceful protest” and “there is minimum disruption to the local community”.

James Ozden, a spokesman for the protest group, said the action is aimed at calling out the animal agriculture industry for their part in the global climate crisis.

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He said: “The meat and dairy industry is destroying our planet: causing huge amounts of rainforest deforestation, emitting immense quantities of greenhouse gases and killing billions of animals each year.

“The only sustainable and realistic way to feed ten billion people is with a plant-based food system. Organic, free-range and ‘sustainable’ animal-based options simply aren’t good enough.”

McDonald’s has been contacted for comment.

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