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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 December, 2004, 02:20 GMT
Villagers bid for exclusion zone
Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire.
The Halls' farm in Newchurch has been targeted
Residents of three Staffordshire villages are going to the High Court on Thursday to apply for an injunction to keep out animal rights extremists.

They want an exclusion zone around Yoxall, Newchurch and Newborough, after a campaign against a farm which breeds guinea pigs for medical research.

They have applied for a protest-free exclusion zone around their property.

The zone would cover an area of almost 11.5 square miles (30 sq km), and could pave the way for similar actions.

I am trying to stop terrorists from terrorising my community
Peter Clamp

Last month, Oxford University won its bid for the renewal of an injunction against animal rights activists protesting next to its new animal testing centre.

Businessman and parish councillor Peter Clamp, who lives in Newborough, has taken on the role of spokesperson for the communities.

He said he decided to take action after the grave of 85-year-old Gladys Hammond, who was Mr Hall's mother-in-law, was desecrated.

Her remains have still not been recovered.

Mr Clamp told BBC News: "This appalling behaviour has gone on for five years and I just thought enough was enough.

"There is a terrible fear from people who have had threatening letters about bombs and had bricks through their window and the like.

"My concern is for the safety of the residents and I am trying to stop terrorists from terrorising my community."

Mr Clamp lives in Newborough with his wife and three children and runs his haulage and distribution companies from there.

He says he is not against activists holding peaceful protests and the injunction would not affect law-abiding protestors.

'Take stand'

But he is concerned about the threats and violence he says people have been subjected to.

Mr Clamp said he expects to become a target but his only concern is for his family.

"I am prepared to be threatened - someone has to take a stand.

"But if they come near me, it won't be pleasant for them because the police will be involved."

Staffordshire police are supporting the injunction but will not comment further ahead of High Court's decision.

In a statement, the Rector of Yoxall, the Rev Jenny Lister, said the church backed the application.

"Nobody wants to deny anybody the democratic right to protest but turning up twice a week for five years outside somebody's house is not democratic," she said.




SEE ALSO:
University wins animal rights bid
10 Nov 04 |  Oxfordshire
Police warning over farm protests
23 Oct 04 |  Staffordshire
Activists urged to stop protests
20 Oct 04 |  Staffordshire
Letters sent over missing remains
18 Oct 04 |  Staffordshire


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