Animal testing protest outside Gosport Town Hall

L-R:'Helen Fry, 27, Tristan McClunan, 27, of Titchfield, Jeannette McClunan, 57, from Meon Valley; Helen Nelson, 86 from Brune Lane, Rowner and Martin, all from Stop Wickham Animal Testing, protesting outside Gosport Town Hall.
L-R:'Helen Fry, 27, Tristan McClunan, 27, of Titchfield, Jeannette McClunan, 57, from Meon Valley; Helen Nelson, 86 from Brune Lane, Rowner and Martin, all from Stop Wickham Animal Testing, protesting outside Gosport Town Hall.
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ANGRY activists held a protest in Gosport over animal testing firm Wickham Laboratories moving into the town.

Stop Wickham Animal Testing is opposed to the firm’s use of animals at the site in Barwell Lane.

The protest, held outside Gosport Town Hall in the High Street, started at 11am yesterday.

Numbers of campaigners were lower than previous protests by the group in the town, with only five people present, waving placards and shouting through a megaphone.

Activists say the council could have done more to stop the firm from moving into Gosport.

Helen Nelson, 86, a stalwart of the group, previously dubbed a ‘granarchist’, said: ‘We want to impress on Gosport Borough Council it’s not a welcome move.

‘We think it’s disgraceful the council has turned around and said “welcome” just for a few jobs when people are coming from Fareham anyway. It brings Gosport into disrepute – we don’t want it to be a dumping ground.

‘They’re not listening.’

Councillor Mark Hook, pictured, Tory leader of the council, met the protesters outside the Town Hall.

He said that it was not the council’s decision to let Wickham Laboratories onto the site.

‘It was purely a transaction between two companies,’ he said.

‘We do have a dialogue with the company, to make sure they’re clean and safe.

‘The complaints against the council are not right – they’re incorrect.’

Cllr Hook added that he will listen to the protesters’ concerns and if necessary take them up with Wickham Laboratories.

‘When I met protesters I said that if they have any concerns or proof that they should use testing other than on animals, then I’m happy to act as a conduit.’

Chris Bishop, technical director at Wickham Laboratories, said: ‘Gosport council recognises our contribution to the local community and we hope we will continue to contribute positively to the borough.’