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Climate protesters reply to MP's 'grow up' comment

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Climate protesters demonstrating at a milk factory have hit back at an MP who said they should "grow up".

Protesters blocked the entrance to Stonehouse Muller milk factory, in Gloucestershire, and a number were arrested at 05:00 BST on Monday.

Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie said the demonstrators should "stop playing games with people's livelihoods".

Animal Rebellion said a transition to plant-based milk was "essential" to mitigate the climate crisis.

During the day of action, Animal Rebellion protesters climbed on top of milk tankers and sat in the road to prevent lorries from accessing the site.

A number of similar protests were carried out at other Muller and Arla dairy sites across England.

Gloucestershire Police said eight people were arrested and held in custody.

Ms Baillie said during a cost-of-living crisis the activists' demand to use plant-based milk was "as ridiculous as it is dictatorial".

"It is difficult to know what planet these people are living on when they target dairy producers and companies who are already under pressure during such challenging economic times," she said.

"It is also unforgivable to try to intimidate hard-working staff.

"The public is fed up with protesters. They should just grow up and stop playing games with people's lives and livelihoods."

In a statement on Monday Muller said: "We are disappointed to be targeted by a small number of activists who don't represent the 96% of adults in Britain who choose milk every week, and we will ensure that supplies are maintained.

"Dairy is affordable and packed with nutrients that benefit our bodies. During a cost-of-living crisis it is wrong to try to prevent it from reaching families, including vulnerable members of society."

An Animal Rebellion spokesperson said the public wanted the government to move faster on climate action, "so our cause has broad support from the public".

"Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie asks what planet we're living on.

"The answer is a planet that is facing unprecedented heatwaves in the UK, devastating flooding in Pakistan, along with many other extreme weather events," they said.

"Plant-based milk is not only the best option for the planet, but it is also affordable and eliminates the exploitation of animals.

"An industry-wide transition to plant-based milk is essential if we're to stay below 1.5°C and mitigate the worst impacts of climate change."

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has been asked for a comment.

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