anon | 23.08.2005 10:46 | Birmingham
GUINEA PIG FARM TO CLOSE AFTER HATE CAMPAIGN
By Alex Thompson, PA
A farm is to cease breeding guinea pigs for medical research following a long-running campaign of intimidation by animal rights activists, a spokeswoman for the family-run business said today.
David Hall and Partners said it would shut down its guinea pig breeding operations at Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire, at the end of the year.
The Hall family, which has been subjected to a six-year hate campaign by animal rights extremists, said they hoped the decision would prompt grave robbers to return the body of 82-year-old Gladys Hammond, whose remains were stolen from a churchyard in nearby Yoxall.
In a statement released through a spokeswoman, who declined to be named, the Hall family said: "David Hall and Partners' involvement in breeding guinea pigs for biomedical research will cease at the end of 2005.
"The business, which has operated for over three decades, will undergo a phased closure until then to ensure the welfare of animals involved.
"The business has continued during a sustained protest from animal rights extremists for six years, which included the desecration of the grave of Gladys Hammond last October.
"We now hope that, as a result of this announcement, those responsible for removing Gladys' body will return her so she can lie once again in her rightful resting place.
"David Hall and Partners are planning a return to traditional farming. They have no plans to be involved in any way in the breeding of animals for medical or scientific research.
"No further comment will be made on the closure of the guinea pig breeding business until it has been finalised at the end of the year."
The body of Gladys Hammond, the mother-in-law of Christopher Hall, who co-owns Darley Oaks Farm with his brother John, was stolen from a grave at St Peter's church last October.
It followed a sustained campaign of intimidation which included regular protests at the gates, firebomb attacks, a paedophile smear campaign and the cutting of electricity and phone lines.
Watch the bones re-appear and wonder who gets the blame...