Animal

Vegan activists turn Trafalgar Square fountains blood red


Two people were arrested following the action at Trafalgar Square this afternoon (Picture: REX/@DanielDanielyes)

Vegan activists have dyed the Trafalgar Square fountains red in an eye-catching stunt claiming that the government has ‘blood on their hands’. 

Animal Rebellion say the coronavirus pandemic can be linked back to humans exploiting other creatures, as they called for an end to animal farming. 

The group — linked to environmental campaigners Extinction Rebellion — say the crisis ‘could have been prevented’ and that science suggests ‘three out of every four new infectious diseases originate from animals.’

Striking footage shows red-handed activists pouring dye into the fountains and holding up placards, while a small number of campaigners socially distanced from each other near the water features listening to speeches. Police say two people have been arrested.

Officers were seen telling activists to come out of the fountain during the peaceful stunt, which saw both fountains in the central London landmark turned blood-red. 

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Scientists believe Covid-19 could have come from bats and that many diseases are spread by humans coming into close contact with wild animals. 

Animal Rebellion say other diseases like Swine Flu can also be linked to farming practices and that plant-based diets are more sustainable and environmentally friendly. 

Stephanie Zupan, a spokesperson for the group, explained: ‘The warnings from Covid-19 could not be starker. 

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‘The government must now begin a transition towards a plant-based food system, or risk future zoonotic pandemics of catastrophic proportions.’

Similar action also took place in more than 15 cities worldwide, including Chicago, Amsterdam and Barcelona, according to the organisation.

In the UK, the stunt comes as the 2019-2021 Agriculture Bill passes through Parliament – which campaigners say could impact animal and environmental standards.

Kieran Blyth, another spokesperson, said: ‘These unsatisfactory and dangerous measures will only increase the risk of future pandemics.

A police officer speaks to a red-handed activist holding a placard (Picture: REX)
Activists say the Government has ‘blood on its hands’ (Picture: @DanielDanielyes)
A masked activist is escorted away by officers (Picture: REX)

‘The government are playing with the potential of tens of thousands more deaths.’

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: ‘At approximately 1pm red dye was placed in the fountains in Trafalgar Square.

‘Two people have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. They remain in custody.’

Switching to a vegan diet is seen as one of the key ways individuals can help battle climate change, but critics say people should be free to choose whether they eat meat and dairy. 

Campaigners stand apart in a socially distanced demonstration (Picture: @DanielDanielyes)
The landmark’s two fountains were dyed blood red (Picture: @DanielDanielyes)

Extinction Rebellion caused chaos in London late last year when it blockaded Trafalgar Square and other sites for days, calling for climate justice. 

In recent weeks Animal Rebellion has also been highlighting the death of Canadian activist Regan Russell, who died after reportedly being hit by a vehicle near a slaughterhouse. 

Metro.co.uk has contacted DEFRA for comment. 

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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