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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 July 2006, 04:15 GMT 05:15 UK
Majority 'back' animal research
Protesters stand outside the High Court
Activists have mounted protests against a new lab in the city
More than half the general public believe it is acceptable to use animals for medical research, a poll suggests.

But a majority of the 1,001 people polled by ICM for the BBC said UK taxpayers' money should not help fund new sites used for such purposes.

The full results of the poll will be detailed as Newsnight and BBC Oxford hold a debate on the issue in Oxford.

The city has found itself at the centre of a controversy over the building of new animal vivisection laboratories.

Mouse on wheel

A total of 57% of respondents to the poll said they did not want public money spent on building laboratories, while 40% thought it was right that taxpayers' money be spent in this way.

A further 3% said they did not know.

Speakers at the debate will include activist Mel Broughton, representing Speak (Stop the Primate Laboratory at Oxford University), and Professor Tipu Aziz from Pro-Test, which campaigns in favour of continued animal testing and in support of scientific research.

Home Office figures released on Monday showed the number of experiments on animals carried out in the UK rose by 41,300 last year to 2,896,000.

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