New injunction to keep protesters away from gates at MBR Acres
- Credit: Terry Harris
The High Court has granted an extension to the injunction that sets out the perimeters for anyone protesting at the MBR Acres puppy breeding facility in Wyton, Huntingdonhshire.
Protesters are now prevented from entering an "exclusion area" in front of the main gates.
News of the terms of the injunction came on the same day that pop singer Will Young joined Camp Beagle protesters and handcuffed himself to the gates to offer his support. The protesters are demanding the release of 2,000 beagle puppies being bred for animal testing.
Popstar Will Young chains himself to gates at MBR Acres:https://www.huntspost.co.uk/news/will-young-joins-camp-beagle-at-mbr-acres-8494064
The 42-year-old released himself after being spoken to by police officers.
Marshall Bioresources, which owns MBR Acres, has confirmed that the High Court extended the term of its original injunction on November 10.
In a statement the company said: "We have stressed throughout the protest that we have no interest in stifling legitimate protest provided it is conducted lawfully and peacefully.
"But we remain concerned that protesters continue to conduct unlawful activities at the sites as part of their campaign including unwarranted harassment and intimidation of our staff and others.
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"All protesters are now currently barred by the court from accessing a designated exclusion area in front of the gates to the sites to restrain the unlawful campaign of harassment, trespass and criminal damage directed against our staff, contractors, and visitors.
"Our business will continue to manage and run its operations in full compliance with Home Office regulations and with our normal high welfare standards.
"However, it is difficult to ignore where there is a peaceful protest a policing presence would not be needed, including a safe, clean environment that all local authorities are required to manage.
"We remain proud of what we do every day because our work allows the progress of medicine to save millions of human and animal lives.”
The Understanding Animal Research organisation said this: "We are pleased that the High Court injunction has helped to address activists’ threats to animal care staff by imposing an exclusion zone and requiring the protestors to move their camp and its detritus away from the entrance to MBR Acres.
"This far-from-peaceful protest has not succeeded in preventing workers coming on to the site to care for the dogs, or stopped any deliveries of dogs being made, but it has required an expensive police presence to protect staff from a torrent of abuse and threatening behaviour. It has also endangered the safety of the protestors themselves and others using the highway.
“This facility has been working with the medical research sector for decades and has not required a police presence to protect it from abusive protestors until this summer.
"We and the UK scientific research community are grateful to the Police for allowing MBR Acres to continue with its important work. If this camp had been a peaceful protest, there would have been no need for a police presence or an injunction.
“The use of dogs in research is vital to medical progress in this country. All potential new medicines are legally required to be tested in animals like dogs before they can be given to human volunteers.
"Some people may be opposed to medical research, and it is absolutely their right to express their opinions, but they cannot be allowed to prevent new medical treatments being made available to desperately ill people.
“The protestors claim that the use of dogs in medical research is unnecessary. The MHRA and the scientific community disagree with them. Until such time as non-animal alternatives can be found to take the place of dogs in safety-testing medicines, organisations like MBR Acres will be needed to breed and raise contented, healthy dogs for use in medical research.”
After Will Young left the site on Tuesday, a police spokesperson said: “Officers spoke to a man handcuffed to the gates and he has since released himself from the handcuffs and moved away from the entrance.
“Our response to the protests in Wyton has been impartial and proportionate, balancing the right to protest with the right of staff at the site to go about their lawful work.
“We are ensuring a safe environment for protestors to express their views peacefully and staff at the site to do their work, which is protected under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.”