A group of animal rights activists is occupying a slaughterhouse in Kent - refusing to leave until all animals scheduled to be slaughtered today are given up to a sanctuary.
The campaigners, with the group Smash Speciesism, entered the slaughterhouse buildings owned by Forge Farm Meats in Tunbridge Wells early this morning.
In two separate groups, they accessed both the silo and kill floor, locking on to the machinery. They say their eviction will need climbing police and specialized operatives that know how to cut lock ons.
"The decision to access and blockade this building has not been taken lightly. We are aware of the legal risks related to the action, but we believe there is no other chance to push systemic change," the group said in a statement sent to PBN.
"The continuous exploitation of sentient beings, treated as property, is not just immoral but unjust, and if we have to force justice by acting against the law, we will do so unapologetically.
"We are aware of the multiple charges of animal cruelty against workers in the slaughterhouse and we want to make clear that this action is unrelated to them. We don't believe in a world where slaughterhouse workers treat the animals kindly, but in a world where slaughterhouses don't exist."
The group added that this action is the first of many they are willing to undertake in a bid to 'combat and ultimately bring down speciesism'.
They added: "We would be willing to abandon the blockade if all animals scheduled to be killed today are transported to an animal sanctuary of our choice and if the safety and freedom of the activists are promised, without charges and without personal details."
'Activists are being removed'
When PBN contacted Forge Farm Meats, a spokesperson confirmed that activists were on the premises and being removed by police, but declined to comment further.
An official statement from Kent Police said: "Officers were called at 3.35am to reports of a protest at a business in Powder Mill Lane, Tunbridge Wells. Officers attended to speak to those involved and remain at the scene."