The University of Oxford confirmed this week (November 30) that construction had resumed on the site of a controversial new animal research facility, after the project was halted in July 2004 by a campaign of intimidation and violence from animal rights activists who specifically targeted the employees of firms contracted to carry out construction work.

The previous shutdown shocked the British science world, and within months the government had begun drafting tougher laws to clamp down on animal extremists. Then, in November last year, the university was granted an injunction in the High Court that excluded specific people or groups from coming within 50 yards of the laboratory site, except during once-weekly demonstrations.

The injunction also excluded people from knowingly picketing, demonstrating, or loitering within 50 yards of the premises of contractors involved in the construction. People are also barred from coming within 100 yards of the houses of members...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?