Five arrests were made after animal rights protestors gathered outside a Ledbury laboratory.

The protest took place on Saturday (February 25) and saw activists spray red paint on the gates of Sequani in Bromyard Road.

People also handcuffed themselves to the gates and held banners calling for the company to stop using animals in its facility.

Hereford Times: Police and protestors outside Sequani on SaturdayPolice and protestors outside Sequani on Saturday (Image: Barry Thompson)

Activists are particularly concerned about the use of beagle puppies they say are bred specifically for the purpose of animal testing at Sequani and other labs.

One protestor said on Facebook: “A massive thank you so much to those brave, kind souls who whilst today’s protest was getting going, descended on Sequani like angels.

READ MORE: Ledbury mayor defends Christmas donation from Sequani

“[They] took direct action in ramming home the message to Sequani that what you do to animals behind your barbed wire gates is immensely cruel, barbaric, outdated and totally unnecessary.”

West Mercia Police said its officers attended the protest to ensure minimal disruption to the community.

Four people were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and a fifth person was arrested on suspicion of breaching the public order act.

Hereford Times: Activists sprayed paint on the gates of Sequani's lab in Bromyard RoadActivists sprayed paint on the gates of Sequani's lab in Bromyard Road (Image: Barry Thompson)

Superintendent Mel Paley said: “We respect the right to peaceful protest, however, where criminal offences are committed we will take action against those suspected of being involved.

“I would like to thank the local community for their understanding and co-operation as we responded to the protest.”

Hereford Times: Protestors held placards at the side of the roadProtestors held placards at the side of the road (Image: Barry Thompson)

A spokesperson for Sequani said: "We can confirm that there was a demonstration held on Saturday, February 25,  where several arrests were made.

"Most research animals in the UK are mice, fish and rats. Animals are used in discovery science or to create and safety test medicines.

"This includes all vaccines for Covid-19, as well as new drugs announced recently to combat cancer and Alzheimer’s, pet medicines and more.

"It would be difficult to find anybody whose life has not been saved or significantly improved by the use of animals in research. It has been used to create almost all medicines. By law, animals cannot be used if working alternatives exist.

"It's clear that those individuals attending the demonstration object to what we do as a matter of principle but there are many more people across the UK that value what we do and our contribution, along with our development partners, in helping to bring new medicines to market."