Six protestors who blocked Arla dairy factory in Aylesbury acquitted
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On 31 August, dozens of representatives from the Animal Rebellion climate action group stopped traffic on the A41 by the major plant.
Thames Valley Police arrested 18 demonstrators on the day, stating the protest had infringed on ‘others going about their lawful business’.
Officers charged 16 of the protestors with aggravated trespass and wilful obstruction of the highway.
Six of the activists who were charged by the police were acquitted on Monday (4 April), at High Wycombe Magistrates Court.
For 18 hours protesters camped out on the road by the factory to highlight climate and ecological crises.
Their mission statement was to demand Arla becomes a plant-based dairy producer by 2025.
Figures obtained from Poore and Nemecek’s scientific findings in 2018, show that Arla is responsible for 80% of agricultural land-use, more than 50% of our food systems' greenhouse gas emissions, yet provides only 18% of calories.
Animal Rebellion protester James, of Manchester, who was arrested, said: “Arla is the largest dairy producer in the UK. The way we produce meat and dairy is responsible for some of the greatest environmental challenges we face, including climate change, deforestation, water pollution, and biodiversity loss.
"It simply cannot be sustained. As a cooperative, Arla are in a unique position to support their member-farmers interests by aiding them in a fair transition to a more sustainable plant-based food system.
"At present, the price of dairy is consistently falling which puts financial and mental strains on farmers.
"A few years ago, Arla members protested at the same facility we did in Aylesbury to fight these falling prices.”
An Arla spokesman told The Bucks Herald: “Milk is an affordable, accessible and nutritious source of food that is recommended by health authorities as part of a balanced diet, and dairy has never been in as high demand around the world as it is today.
"As a cooperative owned by the same farmers who supply the milk, we are committed to producing dairy in the most sustainable way possible.
"We already produce raw milk with around half the average emissions of dairy globally and our farmers are working hard towards becoming carbon net zero.”
Pete who lives in Lancaster was another member of the acquitted six, he said: “The science is clear that we need to reduce climate emissions from all sectors.
"Dairy farming is a key contributor to such emissions. To reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, we will need to use land differently with the need to grow trees, rewild areas, reverse species loss, and restore biodiversity.
"This can be done whilst supporting farmers and land-workers in a fair, just and sustainable transition away from animal farming. Arla are the largest dairy producer in the UK, and fifth largest producer in the world.
"If they do not get on board with such a transition, they will be threatening the livelihoods of their farmers and the lives of us all.”
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