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McDonald's UK supply disrupted following animal rights group blockades

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·2-min read
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COVENTRY, ENGLAND - MAY 22: Animal rights protesters from Animal Rebellion blockade a McDonald's distribution centre to stop deliveries to the fast-food chain's 1,300 UK outlets on May 22, 2021 in Coventry, England. Animal Rebellion said about 50 activists were using trucks and bamboo structures to stop lorries leaving depots in Hemel Hempstead, Basingstoke, Coventry and Heywood, Greater Manchester.  (Photo by Darren Staples/Getty Images)
Animal Rebellion said about 50 activists were using trucks and bamboo structures to stop lorries leaving depots in Hemel Hempstead, Basingstoke, Coventry and Heywood, Greater Manchester. Photo: Darren Staples/Getty Images

McDonald's (MCD) UK distribution centres were thrown into disarray this weekend as animal rights protestors moved to blockade depots in Hemel Hempstead, Basingstoke, Coventry and Heywood, Greater Manchester.

Animal Rebellion estimate that the protest, which lasted 24 hours in Manchester, 21 hours in Hemel Hempstead and 30 hours in Coventry, blocked a total of around 1,900 trucks which were due to deliver supplies to the chain's 1,300 UK outlets. 

The group is calling for a transition to plant-based food system to "stop the climate crisis and end the suffering of animals."

The protest demanded that McDonald’s becomes fully plant-based by 2025.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 22: Protestors gather outside McDonalds distribution center in Hemel Hempstead Industrial Estate in North London on the early morning of Saturday, May 22, 2021 - to blockade the site for at least 24 hours, using trucks and bamboo structures, causing a significant disruption to the McDonald's supply chain. (Photo by Vudi Xhymshiti/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Protestors gather outside McDonalds distribution center in Hemel Hempstead Industrial Estate in North London on the early morning of Saturday, May 22, 2021 - to blockade the site for at least 24 hours, using trucks and bamboo structures, causing a significant disruption to the McDonald's supply chain. Photo: Vudi Xhymshiti/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The group, referencing the KFC chicken shortage of 2018, told Yahoo Finance UK that the impact on restaurant supplies might not be seen for up to two days and could last for days after that. 

The chicken shortage forced a number of KFCs across the country to close for days. 

Yahoo Finance UK contacted the McDonald's press office but was told to wait until Monday for a comment on the situation.

A spokeswoman told the BBC yesterday: "Our distribution centres are currently facing disruption. We are assessing the impact on deliveries to our restaurants and to menu items. We apologise to our customers for any disappointment caused."

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James Ozden, a spokesperson for Animal Rebellion, 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 in recent years moved to update its menu to cater for an increasing appetite for plant-based alternatives to meat. 

The fast food giant said in November last year it has developed a plant-based patty dubbed McPlant. At the time the company said the McPlant will be put into test in 2021 on a market-by-market basis.

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