Eleven face trespass charges after raid on Kent abattoir

Eleven people have been charged with trespass after animal rights activists raided an abattoir in Kent.

The raid took place at Forge Farm Meats in Southborough, near Tunbridge Wells, in the early hours of Tuesday (27 August).

Activists chained themselves to machinery inside the building at the slaughterhouse, and said they would stay there until the animals were freed.

See also: How to deal with animal activists and difficult neighbours

A Forge Farm Meats spokesperson said the protesters were on the site until 6pm on Tuesday, and police officers had told them it had wasted valuable resource.

The spokesperson defended the abattoir’s record on animal welfare, saying: “We are satisfied that these animals are treated with the utmost respect until they die.

“We have 16 CCTV cameras here on every single pen. We are making sure the animals are fed, watered and happy.”

In a statement, Kent Police said: “Eleven people have been charged with trespass offences after Kent Police was called to a protest at a business premises in Powder Mill Lane, Tunbridge Wells, at around 3.35am on Tuesday 27 August 2019.

“Following enquiries, the following people have been charged with aggravated trespass:

  • Charlotte Helliker, 32, of no fixed address
  • Cassie Simons, 27, of no fixed address
  • River Braithwaite, 18, of no fixed address
  • Zoe Sim, 23, of no fixed address
  • Samantha Henttonen, 24, of no fixed address
  • Dylan Roffey, 24, of no fixed address
  • Claire Matwiy, 34, of White Wood Road, Sandwich
  • Jordan McCusker, 25, of no fixed address
  • Edith Sizer, 18, of no fixed address
  • Ciaran Brady, 31, of Firs Close, Wokingham, Berkshire

“In addition to these charges, Andreu Navarro-Lopez, 25, of no fixed address, has been charged with aiding and abetting aggravated trespass.”

All have been bailed to attend Sevenoaks Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 8 October, 2019.

Original story below:

Five women and a man have been arrested after animal rights activists stormed an abattoir in Kent.

Up to 15 campaigners raided Forge Farm Meats in Southborough, near Tunbridge Wells, in the early hours of Tuesday (27 August).

The group, called SMASH Speciesism, chained themselves to machinery inside the building at the slaughterhouse, with the intention of staying there until the animals were freed.

See also: How to deal with animal activists and difficult neighbours

The group said it would be willing to abandon the blockade if all animals due to be killed at the abattoir were transported to an animal sanctuary “to live out their lives in freedom”.

Activists let off pink smoke bombs outside the building, erected a banner saying #shutdown speciesism and moved sheep into a holding pen.

The group later released a video of the protest and they warned that the protest was the first of many actions it would be willing to take to bring down livestock farming.

‘Waste of police resource’

A Forge Farm Meats spokesperson said the protesters were on the site until 6pm on Tuesday and police officers had told them it had wasted valuable resource.

“We had 25 police officers and 15 vans and cars here. It has wasted a month’s resource.

“How is that good for the community when we are trying to stop stabbings on our streets?” he said.

The spokesperson defended the abattoir’s record on animal welfare, saying: “We are satisfied that these animals are treated with the utmost respect until they die.

“We have 16 CCTV cameras here on every single pen.

“We are making sure the animals are fed, watered and happy.”

Aggravated trespass

A spokesman for Kent Police said five women were arrested for aggravated trespass and a man was held on suspicion of aiding and abetting them.

The spokesman added: “Kent Police was called at 3.35am on Tuesday 27 August to reports of a protest at the premises in Powder Mill Lane and officers attended to speak to those involved.

“The women and man remain in police custody while enquiries continue at the scene.”

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