Activists stage 'milk pouring' protests in London department stores Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason

Animal Rebellion activists pouring out milk in Selfridges in London Credit: PA/Animal Rebellion

Animal rights activists have staged dramatic 'milk pouring' protests inside busy London department stores in a bid to convert people to a vegan lifestyle.

Two activists from Animal Rebellion targeted displays inside Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason in front of crowds of shoppers on Friday.

The group named the pair as Steve Bone, a photographer from Thorpe-Le-Soken, Essex and Sofia Fernandes Pontes, a student from Madeira, Portugal.

The activists began taking milk from the shelves of the foodhall in Fortnum & Mason on Piccadilly and emptying it onto the floor of the shop at at 11.35am.

A video showed them being swiftly escorted out of the luxury store by security staff.

The pair then then headed to Selfridges on Oxford Street at around 12.30pm, where they were filmed pouring milk over a cheese display.

In the video released by Animal Rebellion, an onlooker is heard asking staff: "Do you guys not intervene?"

"We’re not allowed to," the member of staff replies.

One shopper can be heard swearing at the pair as he tells them they should be "ashamed" of themselves.

Another man blocked Ms Fernandes Pontes as she walked away, catching her neck with his outstretched arm.

The activists were then escorted to the exit by security staff.

Fortnum and Mason removed a cheese display that had milk poured on it Credit: PA/Animal Rebellion

Animal Rebellion said that the pair took action “to highlight the need to transition to a plant-based food system and a sustainable way of feeding the planet, without exploitation of animals”.

Ms Fernandes Pontes said: “I don’t want to see my children grow up in a world surrounded by drought, destruction of nature, and food shortages. I want them to see a world full of wildlife and beauty.

“Transitioning to a plant-based future is simply essential if we want to see a better world for everyone, supporting farmers to move into profitable and sustainable plant-based production is a no-brainer for (Prime Minister) Liz Truss and (Environment Secretary) Ranil Jayawardena.”

Mr Bone said: “I took action throughout September to push for a plant-based future, and I am taking action again today because Liz Truss and Ranil Jayawardena are still refusing to listen.

“My little girl’s future is on the line and the government’s response is to ignore advice from Oxford and Harvard and, instead, opt to drive us all further into the climate, ecological, and cost-of-living crises.”

Animal Rebellion activists pouring milk over the floor in Fortnum and Mason Credit: PA/Animal Rebellion

The Metropolitan Police said they were called to the stores but have made no arrests.

A Met spokesperson said officers "attended reports of criminal damage" at the businesses and enquiries continue.

The action comes the day before Animal Rebellion plan to occupy the capital.

The activists will gather outside Green Park tube station at 11am on Saturday for a demonstration and march.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...