Dozens arrested during protest at pig farm

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Dutch police at a crime scene (Stock Photo: Politie). (Dutch police at a crime scene (Stock Photo: Politie))

Around a hundred activists occupied a pig farm in Boxtel on Monday in a protest meant to draw attention to animal suffering in the Netherlands. A few dozen farmers also gathered for a counter protest. The police eventually put an end to the action. Dozens of protesters were arrested, NU.nl reports.

The activists occupied the farm on Brede Heide around noon. Dozens more protested outside the farm. Activist Mikki de Gier told Omroep Brabant that the action is not personally aimed at the farmer and his family. "We mainly want to show what is generally happening inside stables." The activists belong to international action group Meat the Victims, according to NOS. 

Later in the afternoon a group of farmers gathered with tractors on the other side of the farm. They were angry about the occupation and wanted to do a counter protest. The two protests were initially peaceful, but the atmosphere grew increasingly tense. The riot police was deployed to the scene at around 9:00 p.m. to keep the two groups apart.

After hours of negotiations, the police put an end to the occupation on Monday night. Dozens of activists were arrested, because they refused to leave or couldn't identify themselves, according to NU.nl. They are in custody and the Public Prosecutor will decide whether to prosecute them. 

Minister Carola Schouten of Agriculture called it unacceptable that the activists occupied a farm. "This is one of the companies that provide us with our daily food. They must be able to do that without continually having to look over their shoulder or be intimidated", she said, according to NOS. 

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