Oxford bid to stop activists

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The Independent Online

Oxford University has applied to the High Court for an injunction to protect staff and students against possible intimidation or acts of violence by animal rights activists. The announcement came after months of demonstrations against a £18m animal research facility that culminated in the building contractor Montpellier pulling out of the project in July.

Oxford University has applied to the High Court for an injunction to protect staff and students against possible intimidation or acts of violence by animal rights activists. The announcement came after months of demonstrations against a £18m animal research facility that culminated in the building contractor Montpellier pulling out of the project in July.

The university insists it does not want to stifle legitimate protest. But it added in a statement: "Experience ... has shown that there are those who are prepared to harass, threaten or attack people who are conducting ordinary legal activities. The targets of such activists have not only been those working in this area of research, but increasingly those who are only indirectly linked to them, such as suppliers of unrelated goods or services."

No work has been done out at the site for nearly eight weeks as the university has yetto find a contractor willing to take on the project. It was due to be completed by December next year.