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Protesters block entrance to Charles River laboratory in Manston

Two animal rights protesters have blocked off the entrance to a testing laboratory.

Police were called to Charles River in Manston Road, near Ramsgate , at 11.20am after receiving a report of a demonstration.

The protesters are sat outside the entrance to the animal testing laboratory
The protesters are sat outside the entrance to the animal testing laboratory

Photographs from the scene show the activists dressed in white bodysuits sitting in front of the entrance to the building.

They are thought to be from group Smash Speciesism, which has posted online: “We are here to expose Charles River.

"We are not going away. Vivisection has not been subdued despite the most valiant efforts by our comrades over the past few decades.”

Placed in between the campaigners is a sign saying "end vivisection".

Six officers, a police car and van have been spotted at the scene.

A spokesman for the force said: "Officers are currently in attendance and are liaising with the protesters and the site owners."

An eyewitness told KentOnline that the protesters intend on being there "for at least the rest of today".

"There is a large demonstration happening at Charles River in Manston," he added.

"There appears to be two people chained to the main entrance, a large assembly around them, and also someone occupying a nearby tower."

Demonstrators are also understood to have hung a pro-animal rights banner from the top of a tower at Manston Airport.

Charles River associate director Sam Jorgensen has defended the multinational's use of animals during tests, adding that the care it provides the creatures "exceeds international standards".

She said: "The survival rates for major diseases are at an all-time high due in part to the discovery of new medicines and therapies.

"The use of animal research models remains a vital component of these discoveries and is required by international regulatory agencies.

"When possible, our goal is to reduce the number of animals used.

"As animal caregivers and scientific researchers, we are responsible to our clients and the public for the health and well-being of the animals in our care, and we strive to fulfil that responsibility on a daily basis."

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