Five arrests made after animal rights protest at Darlington Farmers Mart

Protesters were on the roof until 5pm the same day. Credit: Animal Justice Project

Five people have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage after an animal rights protest in Darlington yesterday.

Activists from Animal Justice Project climbed the roof of the Darlington Farmers Mart at 4am on Saturday 28 May with banners and flares, as a protest against the animal farming industry.

The National Beef Exhibition was taking place at the venue. The event is thought to be one of the largest of its kind in the UK - with industry leaders, DEFRA representatives and 5,000 beef farmers in attendance.

Durham Police were on scene all day, and a spokesperson said:

"Five protesters came down from the roof of the Farmers Mart at around 5pm yesterday following negotiations with officers on the scene.

"All five individuals were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage."

Protesters from the group also claim that they were sprayed with manure during their protest.

Durham Police said: "Officers are also making enquiries following an allegation of assault, however no arrests have yet been made in relation to the report."

The National Beef Association were contacted for a response, and CEO Neil Shand said: "The event was a great day, with a great atmosphere, and an excellent showcase for British Beef."