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Saturday, 20 January, 2001, 08:55 GMT
New investor saves animal test firm

A British company that tests drugs on animals, threatened with closure by protests from animal rights activists, has been saved by new financial backing.

The firm, Huntingdon Life Sciences, has accused the activists of attacking the homes and cars of its staff.

As well as demonstrating outside its laboratories, the protesters have recently turned their attention to investors in the company, and its bankers the Royal Bank of Scotland insisted on having a loan repaid by this weekend.

Huntingdon says it's now found an unnamed overseas investor.

British government ministers have denounced what they say is a campaign of harassment and intimidation by the animal rights activists that threatens the whole scientific research industry in Britain. Three years ago workers at the laboratories were secretly filmed kicking and beating dogs there; the company says it was an isolated incident.

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