Activists scale Defra building in call for meat and dairy farm subsidies to end

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Environmental campaigners who’ve scaled a government building in Westminster say they plan to stay there “indefinitely”.

Animal Rebellion

Four activists from Animal Rebellion, an offshoot of Extinction Rebellion, used ladders, ropes, and harnesses to climb the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) office as high as “20 metres” at around 6am on 26 October. The group says it’s demanding an end to subsidies for meat and dairy farming in a protest against climate change.

Meat and dairy farming contributes significantly towards greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the land used to rear cows could be used for crop farming or housing.

Animal Rebellion protest
Activists are calling for the government to invest in a plant-based future (James Manning/PA)

They plan to stay in place until Boris Johnson pledges to urge all world leaders to also end such subsidies when they attend the COP26 summit next week. Police are at the scene with the fire service and are liaising with the protesters, although no arrests have been made.

Animal Rebellion spokesman Nathan McGovern told the PA news agency:

Read on...

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Our protesters climbed the building in the early hours of this morning to send a clear message that we want an end to support for animal agriculture which is killing our planet. The four, who are around 10 to 20 metres high, have unveiled a banner saying ‘Cop26: Invest in a plant-based future’.

We will see what the situation with the police is, but the plan is to stay in place indefinitely and this will remain a peaceful protest.

The Metropolitan Police said on Twitter:

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.

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