Two people have been held on suspicion of criminal damage after red dye was released into London’s Trafalgar Square fountains, police said.
The stunt was in protest against animal farming with campaigners claiming the government had “blood on [its] hands”.
It was carried out by campaign group Animal Rebellion on Saturday afternoon.
Demonstrators, some of whom stood up to their knees in the red water, alleged that the Covid-19 pandemic was caused by animal exploitation.
A tweet by the Met said: “Two people have been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage following an incident at the fountains in Trafalgar Square earlier today.
“They remain in custody.”
While some activists poured blood-red dye into the fountains’ waters, others held placards and staged a socially-distanced protest in Trafalgar Square.
Stephanie Zupan, a representative of Animal Rebellion, said: “The government must now begin a transition towards a plant-based food system, or risk future zoonotic pandemics of catastrophic proportions.”
Animal Rebellion said the action was coordinated with protests in 20 cities, including Bristol, Brighton and New York.
Kieran Blyth, another representative for the group, said: “These unsatisfactory and dangerous measures will only increase the risk of future pandemics.
“The government are playing with the potential of tens of thousands more deaths.”