VIDEO: Police had to carry disabled protester from Brentwood abattoir protest
PUBLISHED: 14:45 09 September 2011 | UPDATED: 09:45 13 September 2011
Police had to carry away a disabled protester making a last stand at a blockade of a Warley abattoir yesterday.
Animal rights activists gathered outside Cheale Meats, also known as Elmkirk Ltd., for around five hours, preventing lorry loads of pigs from being able to enter.
Police initially quietly negotiated with the protesters to ask them to move out the way of the entrance, but they refused.
They said they wouldn’t move until the Little Warley Hall Lane abattoir’s management came out to speak to them, and were prepared to stay all night.
Some refused to move and were escorted out of the way. The last who refused was Debbie Deboo, from Romford, who is in a wheelchair. She told her carer to leave her, but he also remained.
A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Police came increasingly concerned about the welfare of live animals which were held in lorries for some time, so police asked the protesters to move aside.”
Mrs Deboo, 43, said: “We had a difficult time thinking about the welfare of the pigs but we decided to take the sort of utilitarian argument to not let the lorries through and call the press to try to save the many rather than the few.”
“I just had to do something. I’ve never done anything like it before. At one point it was just me and 24 policemen, and police carried me away.
She added: “They said if we don’t move they were going to move us.
“We weren’t aggressive and the police weren’t aggressive either to be fair.”
Video footage from the protest (click play to view) shows the police lifting her and carrying her several yards out of the way of the abattoir.
The police spokesman said: “The lady in the wheelchair put her feet on the ground outside of her wheelchair, which would have made it dangerous for the wheelchair to move.”
The protesters say they wanted to talk to the management following the footage of alleged abuse at the abattoir which was filmed by Animal Aid and showed cigarettes being put out in pigs faces, and pigs being punched and beaten.
Elmkirk Ltd. said it condemns the abuse and sacked two workers over the issue.
A spokesman for Elmkirk Ltd. said they would not comment yesterday’s “non-event”.
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