Animal rights campaigners from The Save Movement were shocked on Tuesday as police arrested four protestors near a Pinchbeck abattoir.
Shortly before 1pm, Spalding Guardian journalists saw three of those arrested being placed in a custody van in Fleming Way, where there was a second large police van and four patrol cars.
On the other side of Enterprise Way, 15 campaigners – watched by seven police officers – remained on the pavement at the junction of Brunel Road, where trucks loaded with animals turn for Woodhead Brothers, known locally as Morrisons slaughterhouse.
One campaigner said Save members mount peaceful “vigils” all over the country and these were the first arrests anywhere.
She said arrangements were made with police for members to “slow walk” beside lorries, so the animals could be videoed to check on welfare. The campaigner said they walked with two lorries but arrests were made as they escorted a third and she didn’t know why.
Police issued a dispersal notice covering Woodhead Brothers and the surrounding area along with Dalehead Foods, in Fulney Lane North, Spalding, until 8pm. Those arrested were aged 22, 32, 52 and 57.
Sgt Nick Walters said: “The public have a right to protest, we are there to facilitate lawful and peaceful protests. We cannot tolerate actions that cause a breach of the peace or other criminal offences. On this occasion actions of four people have led to their arrests.”
Save members were at the same spot on October 20 when police also issued a dispersal notice.
Some of your comments on facebook.com/spaldingtoday were:
Barbara Holmes: Pity they have nothing better to do.
Rob Simpson: So they’re blocking lorries and prolonging the time the animals have to be stuck inside them for? What’s the point in that?
Bernie Wood: Quite agree, they are the ones causing suffering to the animals.
Spence Wilson: Protesters, as said prolonging animal travel and time and stress. They are just trouble makers with nothing better to do.
Magdalena Corleone: Isn’t it ironic that those who are compassionate and peaceful are treated like criminals, and those who cause nuisance and more harm than good can get away with it by saying: “I’m just doing my job”. The arrests were unnecessary. It was a vigil, NOT a protest.
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