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Jury find 5 Animal Rising supporters GUILTY of Conspiracy To Commit Criminal Damage At Arla Hatfield

Updated: Jun 3


  • Today (17/05/24) at St Albans Crown Court, after a 3-week long trial, 12 jurors delivered a guilty verdict to 5 Animal Rising supporters for ‘Conspiracy to Commit Criminal Damage’.

  • The charges relate to protest actions taken at an Arla Dairy distribution centre in Hatfield in September 2022, where all milk trucks at the facility were immobilised [1].

  • Animal Rising claims that the meat and dairy industry are disproportionately responsible for the climate and ecological crises, and that a plant-based transition is necessary to ensure a safer ecological future for everyone. 


At 10:00 on 7/09/2022, a group of Animal Rising (at the time, Animal Rebellion) supporters entered Arla Hatfield. They immobilised milk trucks on the site before climbing on top of them and unfurling banners that read “Plant-Based Future”.


5 individuals involved have been on trial in St. Albans Crown Court for the last 3 weeks, charged with a conspiracy to commit criminal damage. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment. 


Today (17/05/24), the jury of 12 returned after 2 days of deliberation and delivered a guilty verdict. A sentencing date is not yet set. 


One of the defendants, 29-year-old audio engineer Ru Lemer, from Stansted, said:

“For the last three weeks we have stood in front of a jury of our peers and explained why we took the action we did. We are in an unprecedented, man-made climate and ecological emergency. The meat and dairy industries are leading us along the highway to climate hell.
"But we have the solutions at our fingertips. The transition to a safe, secure plant-based food system would feed our growing population much more efficiently, whilst freeing up land for rewilding that is central to carbon drawdown and the restoration of biodiversity.

The protest action came as part of a week-long campaign calling on the government to support farmers in transitioning to a plant-based food system and rewilding the freed-up land, as recommended by Oxford University researchers [2].


Animal Rising is a social movement to create a new relationship with all beings and give us a chance for a safe ecological future. The group primarily calls for the transition to a secure and sustainable plant-based food system, alongside a mass rewilding programme.


ENDS

Word Count: 401

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For more information or further comments, please contact: 

Nathan (Press Back Office): +44 1225 29 6691


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