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Campaigners claim targeting of milk depots has led to empty shop shelves

·2-min read

Campaigners have claimed their efforts to disrupt dairy distribution facilities have led to supermarket shelves being left empty of milk in north London.

Climate activist group Animal Rebellion said it has been causing significant disruption to a number of dairy distribution facilities over five days, including blocking and occupying sites and damaging milk trucks.

They paused their action in response to the death of the Queen.

But the protesters, who want to see a transition to plant-based alternatives to milk and dairy products to tackle the climate crisis, claim their actions are now having an effect on consumers’ access to milk.

Animal Rebellion wants to see farmers supported to make the switch from meat and dairy production to a plant-based food system, to free up land for rewilding that can draw down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through new forests and plants, helping curb the climate crisis and protecting nature.

Dan Kidby, co-founder of Animal Rebellion, said: “We paused our non-violent campaign out of respect for the British people following the news of Queen Elizabeth’s death, but the disruption we caused is still being felt across the dairy supply chain.

“We fully stand by our actions and are demanding Government action to transition to a plant-based food system which is the key solution to the climate crisis.”

Animal Rebellion said the shortages of fresh milk in north London, which they hope will encourage consumers to switch to plant-based alternatives, were due to actions targeting Arla’s depot in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Arla said: “We’re extremely disappointed that protesters have caused criminal damage to some of our vehicles at our Hatfield site.

“All protesters have been removed from site by local police, however due to the damage caused some deliveries will be slightly delayed.

“The site is now fully operational, and we are working as quickly and safely as we can to continue delivering nutritious dairy around the country.”

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said: “A small number of stores may be running low on some lines of milk but alternatives are available and stores continue to receive deliveries.”