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Targeted guinea pig farm closes
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John Hall
The Hall family said they would return to traditional farming
< !-- E IIMA -->< !-- S SF -->A farm is to stop breeding guinea pigs for medical research after years of intimidation by animal rights activists.

The family-run Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire, has been at the centre of a campaign of abuse.

Owners and staff have received death threats during the six-year onslaught.

The family said they hoped the decision would prompt the return of the body of their relative Gladys Hammond, whose remains were stolen from a churchyard. < !-- E SF -->

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I just feel so angry that these animal rights activists have won
Rod Harvey, former farm supplier
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ains were taken from her grave in nearby Yoxall in October.

Mrs Hammond, who was buried in St Peter's churchyard seven years ago, was the mother-in-law of Christopher Hall, part-owner of the farm.

The Hall family have also been subjected to hate mail, malicious phone calls, hoax bombs and arson attacks.

A spokeswoman for the business, David Hall and Partners, confirmed the site was to stop breeding the animals.

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Gladys Hammond
The family hope that the remains of Gladys Hammond will be returned
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ment, the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI ) expressed its best wishes to the Hall family and said their decision was "regrettable but understandable".

Director of the ABPI Philip Wright said guinea pigs had been essential in research into respiratory disease resulting in breakthroughs in the development of new medicines.

"The activities of a few animal rights extremists have placed impossible pressure on those going about their legitimate business," he said.

"While animal rights extremists are likely to be only one factor in the final decision, it does underline the need for greater protection of those individuals and companies targeted and committed long-term resources from the government to back up the recently-introduced legislation."

Rod Harvey supplied fuel to the farm and endured four years of abuse from activists before he was forced to cease trading with the farm.

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Damaged sign
Protestors have used graffiti to get their message across
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r-old businessman said he received threatening letters, including one accusing him of being a paedophile which was then sent to a number of people he knew.

Bricks were also thrown through his window on a number of occasions.

"In December 2003 a brick came through the window of my front door, hitting my foot and cutting my hand," he said.

"My son and his partner had just had a son and I was worried they would be the next target so I stopped trading.

"In view of what they (the Hall family) and their staff have had to put up with I'm not surprised that they have stopped breeding guniea pigs.

"I just feel so angry that these animal rights activists have won."

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