Six people were detained in France this week following a slew of attacks on businesses selling animal products.
Officials from the Lille prosecutor’s office said vegan activists threw fake blood, smashed windows, and spray painted the slogan ‘Stop Speciesism’, at nine outlets including a butcher, fishmonger, McDonald’s, and a cheese shop.
According to reports, authorities have linked activists to the scenes via DNA and other evidence.
A spokesperson for the Lille prosecutor’s office said five of the six detained have now been released, with one 21-year-old woman due in court on December 14.
The added: “They preferred to remain silent while being questioned.”
The arrests follow tension in France between meat eaters and the increasing number of people who are choosing to reduce or ditch animal products.
‘Save us from the vegans’
Earlier this year the French Federation of Butchers and Caterers wrote to Interior Minister, Gérard Collomb asking for protection against ‘militant vegans’, saying France’s butchers are ‘shocked [by the vegan minority which] wishes to impose its way of life, not to mention its ideology, on the vast majority’.
According to butchers, they have been coming under an increasing number of ‘physical, verbal and moral’ attacks from animal rights activists – mainly fake blood being sprayed on shops.
Jean-François Guihard asked Collomb to step in, writing: “We are counting on your services and on the support of the entire Government to stop as swiftly possible.”
Earlier this year a butcher shop in Ashford, Kent was graffittied with the words: “Stop Killing Animals. Go vegan.”
This prompted pro-bloodsport group The Countryside Alliance to claim that attacks were on the increase, with meat industry members ‘living in fear’.
However, Roger Kelsey – Chief Executive at National Federation of Meat and Food Traders – debunked Bonner’s claims during a segment on LBC radio saying: “This [kind of problem] tends to be isolated. There was a spate of it 20 years ago, when animal liberationists were particularly active, but I think they learnt it wasn’t doing much for the cause.
“They [animal rights activists] take a much more measured approach now, and so this kind of hostility that has been witnessed down in Kent is very unusual.”