Pro-meat activists who ate raw squirrel in a public market in a protest against a vegan stall have been fined.

Deonisy Khlebnikov, 22, and Gatis Lagzdins, 29, decided to eat the animals, which were still covered in fur, in front of members of the public, including young children, outside a vegan stall in Soho, in London's West End.

They were asked to stop by passers-by after children cried, a court heard, but they continued their protest at the Soho Vegan Food Market in Rupert Street on March 30, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

The meat activists were found guilty of a public order offence at City of London Magistrates' Court on Monday.


Senior CPS prosecutor Natalie Clines said: "Deonisy Khlebnikov and Gatis Lagzdins claimed they were against veganism and were raising awareness about the dangers of not eating meat when they publicly consumed raw squirrels.

"But by choosing to do this outside a vegan food stall and continuing with their disgusting and unnecessary behaviour despite requests to stop, including from a parent whose child was upset by their actions, the prosecution was able to demonstrate that they had planned and intended to cause distress to the public.

"Their pre-meditated actions caused significant distress to members of the public, including young children."

The pair denied using disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress at a trial but were both convicted.

Khlebnikov, from Westminster, was fined £200 (NZ$370) plus costs and a surcharge, while Lagzdins, from Ealing, west London, who did not attend the hearing, was fined £400 (NZ$740) plus costs and a surcharge.