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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 15:13 GMT
Body theft appeal as farm closes
Grave scene
The graveyard at Yoxall, scene of the desecration
A family who have shut a guinea pig breeding farm targeted by animal rights activists say they hope a relative's stolen remains will now be returned.

The Hall family, who ran Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire, were subjected to a six-year campaign.

The remains of Gladys Hammond, mother-in-law of the farm's part-owner, Christopher Hall, were taken from a graveyard in Yoxall in 2004.

Four people are awaiting trial accused of conspiracy to blackmail the family.

Certificate returned

Following the farm's closure, a statement was released on Friday by the Hall family, who announced in August last year that it was to shut.

They said: "David Hall and Partners' involvement in guinea pig breeding for bio-medical research has now ceased following the phased closure in recent months.

"We now hope that as a result of this announcement Gladys Hammond's body will be returned to its rightful resting place.

"The certificate of designation which allows the breeding and supply of animals for medical research, and is issued by the Home Office, has now been returned.

Law 'enforced'

"Due to a pending criminal trial no further comment will be made on the closure of the guinea pig breeding business at this stage."

The four people awaiting trial appeared in court last year charged with conspiring to blackmail David Hall and Partners and others connected to the farm between 1 September 1999 and 27 September 2004.

In a statement, Staffordshire Police said they would "continue to permit lawful, peaceful protest wherever it takes place while rigorously enforcing the law when it is broken."

Mrs Hammond's remains were taken from St Peter's Church in October 2004. She had been buried there seven years earlier.

See some of the protests launched against the farm

Guinea pig farm officially closes
18 Jan 06 |  Staffordshire
Is guinea pig farm right to close?
23 Aug 05 |  Have Your Say
In pictures: Protest in Newchurch
23 Aug 05 |  In Pictures
Campaign of abuse for one worker
23 Aug 05 |  Staffordshire
Timeline: Farm under siege
23 Aug 05 |  Staffordshire
The siege of Darley Oaks Farm
25 Jul 05 |  Business


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