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Australia animal rights activists arrested after protests


Canberra, April 8 (IANS) More than 45 animal rights activists were arrested on Monday as coordinated protests brought Australia to a brief standstill amid calls for sweeping changes to Australia’s meat industry.

Over 100 activists blocked a busy intersection in the city’s central business district (CBD), CNN reported.

Some were believed to have chained themselves to vehicles in the street, the police said, with 38 people, including three teenagers, arrested.

"We want to show we’re regular people who have had enough, we are killing the planet and killing animals at rates that are just unacceptable," one of the organisers, Christine Lee, told Australia’s Nine News.

Australia’s beef industry is one of the country’s most lucrative businesses, accounting for almost 2 per cent of the GDP, according to trade group Meat and Livestock Australia.

Cattle farming is a significant contributor to rising greenhouse gas emissions on the planet, and consumption patterns across the globe have showed no sign of slowing down.

"Drastic times call for drastic measures so that is why we’re here today," Lee said.

Victoria Police Superintendent David Clayton said the activists "caused considerable disruptions to thousands of people attempting to navigate through the CBD during peak hour".

Nine people were arrested in New South Wales’ Southern Tablelands after chaining themselves to a conveyor in a slaughterhouse.

Another group of activists entered a Queensland slaughterhouse early Monday and tried to take three sheep. A police spokesman said "the situation was resolved peacefully and without incident" and the sheep were later returned.