Five dogs have been taken from a research facility after a break-in by protesters, a High Court judge has been told.

A barrister representing MBR Acres, which breeds animals for research, gave Mr Justice Nicklin detail of the incident during a High Court hearing in London on Monday.

Caroline Bolton told the judge that a number of protesters broken into a company site in Wyton, Cambridgeshire, on Sunday and said “urgent investigations” were under way.

She described the incident as “serious” and police attended, and told Mr Justice Nicklin that five dogs were “taken off the premises”.

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Two protesters are awaiting sentence after Mr Justice Nicklin made contempt of court rulings following an earlier hearing.

MBR Acres had accused Sammi Laidlaw, who lives near Southend, and Michael Maher of entering an exclusion zone at the Wyton site in breach of a court order.

Maher and Laidlaw, who are part of a Camp Beagle protest group, initially denied contempt.

But they told Mr Justice Nicklin at a hearing in April that, having seen evidence, they may have breached an injunction.

They said they had not meant to breach an injunction.

Mr Justice Nicklin said in a written ruling published in May that Maher and Laidlaw were both guilty of contempt because they had admitted breaching an injunction by entering an exclusion zone.

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Maher, who is in his 40s and lives near Dorchester, Dorset, and Laidlaw, who is in her 30s, are among a number of protesters against whom MBR has taken legal action.

MBR Acres has taken High Court action in the wake of anti-vivisection protests at the Wyton site, and a judge has made an injunction preventing protesters entering an exclusion zone.

Mr Justice Nicklin was overseeing the latest stage of that ongoing litigation today – and making decisions on a number of legal issues.

Protests at the site hit the headlines in November after singer Will Young was involved in a demonstration.