ANIMAL rights protesters disrupted business at a Redditch air conditioning company yesterday.

With a megaphone, placards and leaflets, a group of eight activists from SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty) protested outside Triac Air Conditioning on Prospect Hill.

They claimed the business supplies Huntingdon Life Sciences, a research organisation which tests on animals.

Protester Jerrah Selby, 18, said: "These people may not have been physically testing on animals but they know full well the cruelty that goes on."

The protest started at 8am and was witnessed by commuters on the way into work.

Miss Selby said the peaceful protest had attracted public support, with many passing drivers giving the group the thumbs up.

A police van and five officers were at the scene.

Sgt John Bailey said: "We're just here to make sure everybody can carry on in peace."

The protest finished at 10am, when the activists moved on to businesses in Rugby and Leicester, then Huntingdon Life Sciences in Cambridgeshire.

During the protest, the Triac building appeared to be closed. The letterbox was taped over and several heavy padlocks were on the door.

The business re-opened later yesterday morning but staff refused to comment.

Huntingdon Life Sciences refused to confirm or deny if it was supplied by Triac.

Barbara Davies, spokesman for the Research Defence Society, said: "It has got to the point where almost anyone can be a target for this sort of protest against supposedly affiliated companies.

"The question is, does this company have any relationship with HLS?"

She added that animal research was a legitimate business, was needed and would continue, so the protest was unlikely to have any effect.