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Five held after largest demo in years
POLICE made five arrests last Saturday during the largest animal rights demonstration seen in Ledbury for many years.
Protestors say that 200 protestors marched through Ledbury town centre while police say the actual figure was around half that.
Only a small number of protestors were allowed to protest directly outside the Sequani laboratory in the Bromyard Road.
This part of the protest passed without incident.
But police spokesman, Neil Tipton said: "Three men and two women were arrested close to the Homend and High Street junction after blocking the road and refusing to move.
"Police removed the five for their own safety and to allow the free movement of traffic."
All five were detained at Leominster Police Station and were subsequently released on bail, until February 2008.
Chris Dowdeswell of the Western Animal Rights Network was critical of what he called heavy handed police tactics and he said that 200 officers were assigned to cover the protest.
Mr Tipton confirmed that it was a multi-force operation but he said that police numbers were not so high.
He added: "West Mercia is committed to ensuring that local businesses and residents are able to continue about their lawful activities while at the same time we recognise the rights of those who wish to carry out legitimate protest."