UK animal rights group blockades four McDonald’s depots | Climate change

Animal rights protesters have set up blockades at four McDonald’s distribution centres across Britain, which they say will impact about 1,300 restaurants.

Activists from Animal Rebellion used trucks and bamboo structures to blockade distribution sites at Hemel Hempstead, Basingstoke, Coventry and Heywood from about 4.30am on Saturday, the group said.

The group wants McDonald’s to commit to becoming fully plant-based by 2025. Animal Rebellion said it would remain at the sites for at least 24 hours, causing “significant disruption” to the company’s supply chain.

Animal Rebellion activists at Basingstoke.
Animal Rebellion activists at Basingstoke. Photograph: Andrea Domeniconi

In a video on Twitter, a protester in Coventry said the demonstration “feels like the absolutely right thing to do”.

She added: “We are in the middle of a climate and ecological emergency and we are still consuming huge quantities of meat on a scale that is just not sustainable for our planet.”

An Animal Rebellion spokesperson, James Ozden, said the action was aimed at calling out the animal agriculture industry for its part in the global climate crisis.

“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,” he said.

“The only sustainable and realistic way to feed 10 billion people is with a plant-based food system. Organic, free-range and ‘sustainable’ animal-based options simply aren’t good enough.”

The campaign group tweeted that it planned to cause “significant disruption” to McDonald’s by staying at the sites for at least 24 hours, which would affect restaurants restocking over the weekend.

A further tweet called on the burger chain to engage personally with the activists. It read: “We’re waiting for them to come talk to us, or we’ll stop their distribution to all 1,300 restaurants ALL DAY.”

McDonald’s has been contacted for comment.