Oxford seeks ban to keep animal protesters at bay

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The Independent Online

Lawyers for Oxford University sought permission from the High Court yesterday to impose a 35-metre exclusion zone around all college buildings in the city to protect staff and students from animal rights activists.

Lawyers for Oxford University sought permission from the High Court yesterday to impose a 35-metre exclusion zone around all college buildings in the city to protect staff and students from animal rights activists.

The move came after work on the construction of a biomedical research laboratory was halted in July by harassment from animal rights groups. Timothy Lawson-Cruttenden, for the university, said an injunction was being sought at short notice because of concerns raised by an animal rights gathering in Kent 10 days ago. The university feared becoming a target because some work at the laboratory would involve experiments on animals.Mr Lawson-Cruttenden said the injunction would not affect the "traditional" Carfax demonstration area.

Last month, the Home Office signalled its intention to strengthen the law to curb the activities of animal rights protesters, who have cost the economy an estimated £1bn in lost investment.