Two anti-vivisection campaigners could be jailed for contempt of court today for failing to hand over a list of supporters' emails to Oxford University.

The High Court proceedings against Robert Cogswell and Mel Broughton, members of Speak, originate from a request by solicitors for the university, which was granted a temporary order banning Speak publicising the names of companies involved in building the £20m animal research laboratory in South Parks Road.

The order, made in October, banned Speak from naming the firm against which they had hoped to stage legal protests.

The two men claim it would force them to disclose names of supporters who subscribed to their email alert list.

Mr Cogswell said: "We could be sent to prison not for what we have done, but for what we have said.

"Oxford University wants the information for one reason only, and that is in order to target our supporters.

"Mr Broughton and I feel it is completely unethical to demand the names of ordinary members of the public who have done nothing wrong, other than support the stated aims of our campaign.

"What they are asking of us is just not in our power to give, but is being held by people that operate the list outside our control.

"Despite this, we are still being threatened with imprisonment.

"Speak has never encouraged or condoned illegal actions and has asked our supporters to operate within legal parameters."

Speak has named funders of, and contractors to, Oxford University on its website but Mr Cogswell and Mr Broughton claim their right to free speech is being infringed.