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Last Updated: Monday, 13 October, 2003, 16:28 GMT 17:28 UK
Animal protesters' ban extended
Huntingdon Life Sciences
The activists were banned from HLS in June
A ban on animal rights activists demonstrating at a company that tests drugs on live animals has been extended to include its suppliers.

At the High Court on Monday, Mr Justice Owen put a 100-metre exclusion zone around Huntingdon Life Sciences' (HLS) suppliers, whom he said had been subjected to a "sustained campaign of intimidation and harassment".

In June another judge, Mr Justice Gibbs, banned the Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, the Animal Liberation Front and individual activists Greg and Natasha Avery and Heather James from harassing the laboratories of HLS in Cambridgeshire, its employees and their families.

HLS and its backers have been the target of attacks for a number of years, leading to the gradual withdrawal of many professional services to the company.

The government is now providing insurance and banking for the group, which is based near Cambridge.

Commercial organisations are reluctant to be associated with the company.

The HLS suppliers named in Monday's ban were Daiichi UK Ltd, Asahi Glass UK Ltd, Eisai Ltd, Yamanouchi Pharma UK Ltd and Sankyo Pharma UK Ltd.

'Proper protection'

Mr Justice Owen said the exclusion zone around them could be breached once a week for a peaceful protest by a limited number of protesters.

He said he was satisfied the balance of justice and convenience weighed heavily in favour of granting the ban.

"I bear in mind the rights to freedom of speech and of assembly and association.

"But I am satisfied that the imposition of such zones is necessary for the proper protection of the named claimants and the employees of the claimant companies from unlawful harassment," he said.

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08 Jan 03  |  England

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