Rodents Released in Multiple McDonald's Branches in London
Live rodents were released in McDonald's branches in a region in London as a boycott and protest to the international fast food giant for supporting Israel. Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Reports of pro-Palestinian protesters releasing boxes filled with live rodents in McDonald's all across a region in London have spread earlier in the week.

Three separate incidents of live rats being released in branches of the international burger food chain have been reported all across Central London. Police are currently conducting investigations into the incidents.

The acts of protest followed reports of McDonald's branches donating thousands of free food for members of the Israeli Defence Force two weeks ago.

Rodent videos become viral

A video of one of these incidents went viral on social media, where a man obscured with a hood that had the colours of the Palestinian flag, released boxes of live mice inside a Nechells branch in Central Birmingham, distressing diners inside the establishment.

After the rodents went free, which were dyed with the colours of the Palestinian flag, the man shouted "F*ck Israel".

Authorities have determined a suspect in the incident, which has led to the arrest of a 32-year-old.

However, Birmingham Police announced on their social media that they are still looking for a 30-year-old suspect named Billal Hussain. They urged people who were aware of Hussain's whereabouts to contact their offices.

A separate release of rodents in a Perry Barr branch was also caught on video and posted on social media. As the earlier video mentioned, the live rats for this branch were also dyed with the colours of the Palestinian flag. The post also went viral all over TikTok and X, formerly known as Twitter.

The Perry Barr rodent release also spawned another video, with employees of the branch being distressed over the incident. The footage showed waiters and cashiers trying to contain the rats with plastic boxes.

A similar incident has been reported in Small Heath, but the police are unable to determine as of now if they are connected to the protest.

Authorities determined that these protests were cases of public nuisance and that the disturbances had very grave offences.

A response from the fast food giant

After reports of the acts of protest, McDonald's UK released a statement announcing that they established immediate contact with their sanitation and pest control contractors to cleanse the affected branches.

The fast food chain in the UK also said that they are coordinating extensively with the West Midlands Police in the investigations.

Since the announcement from the UK leg of the international fast food restaurant, two of the branches have been temporarily closed down for sanitation procedures.

Meanwhile, the global representation for McDonald's released a statement to expound on the news that they are supporting Israel.

According to The Independent, a spokesperson said: "McDonald's Corporation is not funding or supporting any governments involved in this conflict, and any actions from our local developmental licensee business partners were made independently, without McDonald's consent or approval."

The fast food giant further added: "We abhor violence of any kind and firmly stand against hate speech, and we will always proudly open our doors to everyone."

Boycotts across the global corporate sphere

Since the news broke out that McDonald's Israel donated free food for IDF members, global boycotts of the fast food chain have trended on social media platforms.

The McDonald's franchises in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Turkey announced they do not support their Israeli business partners. They further added that they are in support of Gaza.

International coffee chain Starbucks also experienced boycotts related to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Footage of masked men throwing stones and bashing windows with hammers of a branch of a cafe in Yorkshire went viral earlier this week.

The incident follows Starbucks suing their worker's union, Starbucks Workers United after the labour organisation tweeted a statement that supported the struggles of Palestinians during the three-week siege of Israel.