A WOMAN from Dorchester has been charged with 11 offences of blackmail and attempted blackmail after a police investigation into animal rights extremism.

The 34-year-old was originally arrested in March by officers from Staffordshire Police's Public Order and Protest Unit.

A spokesman for the force said the woman was also charged with four other offences. The allegations against the woman relate to letters and emails sent to individuals and companies across the UK with past or current connections to animal research organisations.

One of the companies had links with Darley Oaks Farm in Newchurch, Staffordshire, which bred guinea pigs for research until January 2006.

The police spokesman said: "The woman was charged with 15 offences. These include 11 charges of blackmail or attempted blackmail and four charges of interference with contractual links to animal research establishments."

The unnamed woman has been bailed to appear at Burton Magistrates Court in Staffordshire on July 6.