17 September 1998
Police use teargas against Welsh farmers
By FWi staff
POLICE used teargas to break up a group of protesting farmers who tried to break into a meat factory in north Wales last night.
The demonstration of more than 2000 farmers at Ruthin, Denbighshire, began peacefully. But teargas was used after a breakaway group of about 200 farmers attempted to break into premises owned by meat processors Roberts Brothers.
The farmers claimed the factory was processing imported meat rather than supplies from local livestock producers. Police said the factory was extensively damaged and property was stolen. Two men were arrested.
The violence follows protests at the port of Holyhead earlier this year which left one policeman seriously injured.
The officer sustained severe chest injuries when 350 farmers and rural workers gathered to protest against Irish beef imports at Holyhead in January. Seven protestors were later arrested.
Tempers flared when police stepped in to prevent the farmers from turning round an empty Irish lorry. Batons were used and police sprayed CS gas to break up the protestors.