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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 September, 2004, 10:01 GMT 11:01 UK
Animal protests 'to be limited'
Protest
Hundreds of protesters marched through the centre of Oxford
An animal rights group says Oxford University's plan to restrict protests over its new animal testing centre is "undemocratic".

The university's lawyers are seeking an injunction in the High Court in London on Tuesday to limit protests over its 18m centre in South Parks Road.

The pressure group Speak organised a 500-strong march to the site in July.

The university said it wants to protect its staff from "possible intimidation" by animal rights militants.

'Harass, threaten or attack'

The university has said the centre would replace existing sites and "does not mean an increase in animal tests".

The university wants to ban named individuals from entering certain zones around the university and communicating in a threatening or abusive way with those involved in the project.

It also wants activists' actions restricted to the current weekly demonstrations, unless they have police permission.

An Oxford University spokeswoman said: "The university has made an application to the court to protect its colleges, facilities, staff, student and alumni members; others working for it; and their families, from possible intimidation or acts of violence from animal rights activists.

"Experience, particularly over recent months, has shown that there are those who are prepared to harass, threaten or attack people who are conducting ordinary legal activities.

The university is particularly concerned that research directed at the alleviation of human suffering should not be placed in jeopardy by the activities of an unrepresentative few
Oxford University spokeswoman

"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."

Robert Cogswell, of the pressure group Stop Primate Experiments at Cambridge (Speak) said: "Oxford University is blowing things out of proportion.

"The Speak campaign is a legal campaign and we have never indulged in illegal action and would not so in the future.

"We will be defending our rights in court to keep campaigning against it (the centre)."




SEE ALSO:
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25 Jul 04  |  Oxfordshire
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21 Jul 04  |  Oxfordshire
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19 Jul 04  |  Oxfordshire
Woman, 85, continues hunger demo
15 Jul 04  |  Oxfordshire


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