Animal rights activists scaled the roof of a national beef industry event to protest against the meat industry.
The protest, which began in the early hours of Saturday, reportedly led to one protester being hospitalized after chaos unfolded outside the Darlington Farmers Auction Mart (DFAM) in County Durham.
Photos showed masked Animal Justice Project (AJP) activists standing on the roof of the building holding banners and spraying colored flares.
A spokesperson for the group said the activists were left “covered in excrement” after an event attendee allegedly used a sprayer to spray manure at them.
The National Beef Association (NBA), which organizes the exhibition taking place this weekend, describes it as a celebration of the best in British beef, attracting at least 5,000 guests a year.
The AJP said its protest was “peaceful” and “quiet” and aimed to highlight “farm animal suffering and environmental safety issues”.
The police have been on site since 5 a.m. to put an end to the demonstration.
An AJP spokesperson told PA: “We were sprayed with cow poo by a farmer using a machine.
“It has been a peaceful protest and a silent protest and we are overwhelmed and outnumbered by hundreds of angry farmers.”
An NBA spokesperson claimed there was a “wonderful atmosphere” at the event and did not comment further on the protest.
Durham Police said: “Our officers are working to bring the protest to a successful conclusion and to minimize the impact on the wider community.”