ANIMAL rights activists are targeting contractors and their suppliers in a campaign against a controversial new research centre in Oxford.
Materials supplier RMC called in police following a break-in by activists at its Ragley quarry in Dunnington, Warwickshire, last week.
A Warwickshire police spokeswoman said: 'The attack happened around 4 am and caused around £50,000worth of damage.The site was daubed with graffiti.We are gathering forensic evidence but have no leads so far.'
RMC is supplying the readymix concrete on Montpellier subsidiary Walter Lilly's £16 million deal to build the primate research centre for Oxford University.
Montpellier directors'cars have also been attacked and all the firm's subsidiaries have been listed on activist websites, where they are described as 'equally responsible for the construction of Oxford' The South Parks Road site has been the subject of weekly demonstrations and leafleting since construction work began in March.Protesters have focused on the Oxford job since plans for a similar centre in Cambridge were abandoned in January.
RMC's Ragley base is the second to be hit within two weeks after a similar attack at its Sutton Coldfield depot.
An RMC spokesman said Ragley was delivering to customers as normal following the attack.
But an anonymous posting on the Arkangel animal rights website said: 'For two hours the team wreaked havoc and destruction with axes and crowbars on anything that didn't get up and run away, leaving the site in ruins.'
The posting described damage to five vehicles, mains electrics 'chopped to pieces' fuse boxes and other installations 'smashed' and 'diesel tanks spilled' Activists have also attacked the property of three Montpellier directors and a pro-vice chancellor of the university.
The site continues: 'The Montpellier Group is building the new animal torture lab at Oxford University. This means that it is a legitimate target for action. Over the past two weeks some of their directors have been visited.
'Two of these directors live in Birmingham, the other lives in Cannock. In three separate attacks a total of seven cars have had paint stripper poured over them.'
In a meeting of the House of Commons science and technology select committee in May, Oxford West MP Dr Evan Harris described how another supplier to Walter Lilly had already opted out after being targeted by animal