Lab wins battle to bar animal rights activists from breeding facility
ANIMAL rights activists have been hit with a court order barring them from the site of a Shardlow laboratory which breeds animals for medical research.
At the High Court yesterday, a permanent injunction was granted against Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty (SHAC) and the National Anti-Vivisection Alliance (NAVA), preventing them from entering Harlan Laboratories UK at Shardlow Business Park.
The Shardlow site is one of four Harlan laboratories covered by the court order. The others are in Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire.
Lawyers for Harlan applied for an injunction after the company became the "target of anti-vivisectionist campaigns".
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Imposing the injunction, Mrs Justice Lang said there was "overwhelming evidence of a course of conduct against individuals working for or visiting the premises of Harlan Laboratories UK, which amounts to harassment".
She added: "By their words and actions, members and associates of SHAC, NAVA and persons unknown have repeatedly caused alarm, distress, fear and intimidation to their targets."
The judge highlighted a series of actions and incidents, including verbally abusing those entering and exiting Harlan sites, blocking vehicles and intimidating their occupants, trespassing at Harlan premises, "deliberate noise nuisance" and wearing masks and insignia to upset Harlan personnel.
At the Cambridgeshire site, protesters ran into the path of cars, causing drivers to swerve in panic, the court was told. And staff at Harlan's site in Oxfordshire were said to be "living in fear".
The court was told that the campaign was "insidious and unrelenting" and extended to third party companies doing business with Harlan.
Mrs Justice Lang said she had viewed video evidence of protests at Harlan's premises and concluded: "I am satisfied that the conduct of the protesters is oppressive and has gone far beyond legitimate peaceful protest."
She granted Harlan an injunction "restraining" the protesters from "any course of action which amounts to harassment".
The four-page injunction bars protesters from entering all Harlan's UK premises or "exclusion zones" around the company's premises.
No-one from Harlan was available for comment last night.
The firm, which has global headquarters in America, describes itself as "a leading provider of essential, pre-clinical and non-clinical contract research, research models, lab animal diets, and services". It established a presence at Shardlow in 2007, after it bought Safepharm Laboratories.