Animal rights activists scale Defra building calling for ‘plant-based future’

Animal rights activists have scaled the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) building in London, advocating for government to support a plant-based food system ahead COP26.

The activists are part of a volunteer movement ‘Animal Rebellion’, that uses non-violent civil disobedience to advocate its goal of a plant-based food system.

In a recent video posted to the group’s Twitter, a member – who is dressed in climbing gear and claims to be sitting on top of the Defra building – said they are there to call on the government to “defund meat and invest in a plant-based future” ahead of the upcoming COP29 summit in Glasgow, Scotland.

The group have hung a sign down the side of the building that reads: ‘COP: Invest in a plant-based future’.

In photos on social media, Animal Rebellion members can be seen sitting in hammocks to the side of the sign.

The protestors, according to Animal Rebellion’s Tweets, have said they will take action until the government not only subsidises a plant-based transition, but also defunds meat.

Continuing on Twitter, the group said:

“Meat and Dairy is one of the leading producers of greenhouse gases and causes 90% of Amazon deforestation. World leaders at cannot talk about meeting the Paris Climate targets and securing global net zero without addressing that our food system is destroying our planet.”

Specialist units from the Metropolitan Police are on the scene, along with the London Fire Brigade.

“Our primary concern is the safety of everyone involved, our officers and those protesting,” the Metropolitan Police said on Twitter.

“The risks involved mean we must take careful precautions which will allow the safe removal of those at height.”