UK

Seven held by police following animal rights protest at abattoir

Norfolk Police said they were called to reports that a number of protesters had entered a food facility in Watton on Wednesday at 6.07am.

The Cranswick Country Foods meat processing plant in Watton, Norfolk
Coronavirus – Thu Oct 29, 2020 The Cranswick Country Foods meat processing plant in Watton, Norfolk (Sam Russell/PA)

Seven people have been arrested after a group of animal rights activists gained access to an abattoir in a protest against the treatment of pigs.

Norfolk Police said they were called to reports that a number of protesters had entered a food facility in Watton on Wednesday at 6.07am.

The force said five men and two women were arrested in connection with the incident in Brandon Road.

Three men aged in their 30s, one in his 20s and a fifth in his 50s have been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass.

A woman in her 30s has also been arrested on suspicion of aggravated trespass and a woman in her 20s on suspicion of conspiracy to commit aggravated trespass.

All seven people have been taken to Wymondham Police Investigation Centre for questioning where they remain, the force said.

In a video clip apparently filmed at the abattoir earlier in the day, vegan campaigner Joey Carbstrong said: “We’re currently occupying the Cranswick Watton gas chamber.”

The activist, who has released a film called Pignorant, held a banner reading “They fight to escape the gas”, with a photo of a caged pig, in the video clip.

He said he wanted to raise awareness about the gas chambers, which he described as “torture chambers”.

Cranswick Country Foods describes its Watton site on its website as “our dedicated processing facility in Norfolk, producing fresh pork, sausages and added value meal solutions”.

A company spokesman said they were unable to comment about the incident, describing it as “criminal”.