VIDEO: Protesters gather at Normanby by Spital

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CALLS to close down an animal breeding farm came as protesters gathered on Saturday.

Around 50 protesters congregated near Highgate Farm in Normanby by Spital to show their opposition to breeding animals for testing.

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The protest was planned, say campaigners, following news that nearly 100 of the farm’s animals were used in the testing of artificial food sweetener.

“Our aim is to get the owner of Highgate Farm to stop, and we mean stop, selling animals to universities and laboratories,” said protest spokesman Lisa Symonds.

“Highgate owner Geoff Douglas has previously justified the sale of animals to laboratories by claiming he supports medical progress and prolonging human life. The latest tests his rabbits endured involved a sweetener derived from an ingredient already consumed by humans on a daily basis.”

Mr Douglas insists the rabbits he sells go to companies dedicated to producing medication and vaccines for pets and humans - as reported in an interview published in last week’s Rasen Mail.

Saturday’s protest was peaceful and orderly, with no arrests made.

Speaking at the protest, Police Inspector Pat Coates said: “We met with protesters previously and explained the conditions of the protest.

“The protest has been peaceful and orderly. We have built good relationships with the organisers, so there have been no issues.”