Protest group SPEAK plans to put ‘intense pressure' on crane supplier to force it to quit animal testing laboratory.

Animal rights protesters are preparing to make trouble for an international crane manufacturer after claiming its equipment is being used on the Oxford animal testing laboratory.

Protest group SPEAK claims activists are "100% sure" of the identity of the supplier, and are preparing measures to put "extreme pressure" on it to pull out of the contract. The company, which cannot be named for legal reasons, will become the first firm on the £18m project specifically targeted by protesters since Montpellier was intimidated into terminating its contract in 2004.

A SPEAK spokesperson said that a source at the crane company had confirmed its involvement, and that protesters were now planning a strategy to force it to pull out. He refused to give details of planned actions but said "intense pressure" would be put on the company.

The spokesperson said: "We wouldn't want to give them any inkling of what to expect, but a lot of pressure will be put on them to pull out of the contract. We aren't going to bother asking them for a statement - we know who it is."

He added that the group was busy identifying other firms it believed were involved.

The threat comes amid increasing attempts by protesters to halt work on the project. This week activists from the Save the Newchurch Guinea Pigs campaign pledged to hand over its resources to the Oxford group. Newchurch Guinea Pig Farm closed after protesters dug up the remains of the mother-in-law of the owner and refused to hand them back.

Contractor Montpellier pulled out of the contract to build a laboratory in July 2004 after animal rights activists threatened to make false claims that its staff were sex offenders.

Work restarted on the project in November after Oxford University announced it had found another contractor.

The crane company was unavailable for comment.