Farmers have claimed they are living in fear after receiving death threats from vegan activists, while meat industry groups have held meetings with anti-terrorism police to discuss how to manage the militant campaigners.
The groups say action by vegan activists, some of whom use abusive language and send threats, has become more intense in recent months.
Norman Bagley, of the Association of Independent Meat Suppliers, said: “The activists over the past 18 months have become much more violent.
“We’ve had situations of activists lying down in front of lorries, holding their children up to pig wagons, which is irresponsible whichever way you look at it.”
Paul Tompkins, a Yorkshire dairy farmer, said he had spoken to fellow farmers who had been left “distressed” after activists broke into their farms overnight to film their animals.
Alison Waugh, a trainee farmer in Northumberland, said she had received death threats and told the Victoria Derbyshire programme other farmers were feeling threatened.
“When you’re being called murderers and rapists, that is overstepping the mark, for fairly obvious reasons,” she said.
The claims were rejected by Joey Carbstrong, an Australian “celebrity” vegan activist with tens of thousands of YouTube and Instagram followers, who accused the groups of “playing the victim card”.
Mr Carbstrong, 31, who posts videos showing him confronting farmers and meat industry workers, said the animal produce industries “should be scared”.
Mr Carbstrong, a former convict from Adelaide in South Australia, and whose real name is Joey Armstrong, is on a tour of the UK, attending daytime vigils and protests alongside fellow activists.
He is said to have spent much of his youth using methamphetamine and alcohol before going to prison for a gangrelated crime.
He has claimed he spent six months in jail for possession of a firearm, which he had hidden down his trousers and was on house detention awaiting sentencing when he was inspired by the teachings of Dan McDonald, an American advocate for raw food and fasting who formerly had a drug problem. Mr Carbstrong says he went “full vegan” after his release from jail.
At one event he attended this month, which was filmed by the BBC, activists from a group called Liverpool Pig Save, part of the international Save Movement, entered a slaughterhouse in order to “bear witness” to events.
Tracey Langford, whose family owns the business, CS Morphet & Sons, said the property’s yard was stormed by around 20 activists. “They’re really horrible, they call you murderers. They’re tough-skinned lads but that’s not the point, it shouldn’t go on,” she said.
Responding to the complaints from farmers, Mr Carbstrong told The Telegraph: “I don’t condone trespassing and I did not take part. Do I think the trespassing was justified? We need to respect that in this situation, walking on someone’s front lawn is not as bad as slaughtering innocent pigs.
“It’s funny that they’re talking about death threats – I receive them every day. I feel like this is a bit of a manipulation technique from the farmers, because they’re trying to play the victim. They’re not even addressing the fact that they are actually killing animals.”
A spokesman for Liverpool Pig Save said: “There were no official complaints from slaughterhouse workers about the conduct of activists. Emotions and passions can run high at vigils, but the vast majority are peaceful.
“An increasing number of groups have agreements with slaughterhouses and bear witness without any aggression from farmers.”
Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/29/vegan-campaigner-says-farmers-complain-death-threats-abuse-playing/