Arrests after activists bring Ashton-under-Lyne slaughterhouse to standstill

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Smash Speciesism protest
Image caption,
Activists locked their arms in concrete blocks outside the Tulip plant

A meat-processing plant has been brought to a standstill by animal liberation protesters.

Activists blocked the entrance to the Tulip factory in Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester, in protest at the slaughter of pigs at the site.

Smash Speciesism is urging the company to change production to plant-based foods and for the public to go vegan.

Eleven protesters were arrested. Tulip said its main concern was the "welfare of animals in our care" and staff.

Production had been halted as a result of the protest at the site entrance but operations have since resumed.

Police have confirmed the arrests were made on suspicion of aggravated trespass.

Image caption,
Police said they were called to a "small demonstration" on Bow Street

'Gentle and clever'

Activists locked their arms in concrete blocks at 03:30 GMT in a bid to to disrupt the slaughter of pigs, a spokesperson for Smash Speciesism said.

They also wanted to highlight the "widespread use of gas chambers" by the meat industry. Carbon dioxide is commonly used to stun farm animals before slaughter at abattoirs, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

"Pigs are gentle, clever, emotional animals who deserve the right to life, just like any other individual," said a spokesman for the animal rights group.

Tulip has previously worked closely with police and activists affiliated with The Animal Save Movement for a number of years to accommodate their lawful right to protest peacefully, the company said.

"Today's activity appears to be co-ordinated by a different group who have adopted tactics which they seem to consider to be more disruptive.

"While these activities are an inconvenience to operations, our main concern is ensuring the welfare of the animals in our care and the safety of our people, which this activity has directly put at significant risk."