Two family-run firms claim they have been mistakenly targeted by animal rights extremists.

The Animal Liberation Front (ALF) claimed responsibility for attacking property at Oxford Tiling Co in Kidlington and Tony Eldridge Scaffolding in Cassington claiming they worked at Oxford University, where a controversial animal testing laboratory is being built.

But neither firm works at the university. The Oxford Tiling Co is a husband and wife team whose only van was put out of action when extremists vandalised windows and slashed tyres.

Managing director Ian Mole said: "I'm shocked and surprised because we are not suppliers and never have been suppliers to the university. I wish I knew the connection."

A spokesman for Tony Eldridge Scaffolding - which was vandalised - told the Oxford Mail it had no contracts with the university or the laboratory.

The extremists' website claims the firms were targeted to stop companies working at the University and the animal laboratory in South Parks Road.

A police spokesman said officers were aware of the vandalism, which happened between Friday, November 30, and Saturday, December 1.