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Friday, 6 July, 2001, 03:57 GMT 04:57 UK
Animal lab protesters arrested
Protesters at Huntingdon Life Sciences animal lab
Previous action at Huntingdon Life Sciences
Eight people have been arrested following a protest outside the headquarters of the animal testing firm Huntingdon Life Sciences.

Up to 30 protesters blocked entrances with cars on Thursday, then handcuffed themselves to vehicles at Europe's largest contract research company in Cambridgeshire.

Animal rights activists have waged a concentrated campaign against customers, investors, creditors and staff of Huntingdon in a bid to close the lab, which performs tests on 75,000 animals a year.

Earlier this week the government said the Department of Trade and Industry would operate banking facilities for the loss-making firm after it was abandoned by City companies in the face of animal rights protests.

Two cars were chained to the front gates and three protesters chained themselves under the vehicles.

Vivisection 'unjustifiable'

Financial firms had severed links with Huntingdon Life Sciences following action by anti-vivisectionists, who object to the firm's use of animals in testing products such as medicines for human safety.

Protesters have complained that vivisection is not morally justifiable, and claim that alternative methods of testing drugs are available.

Earlier this year the company was brought to the brink of bankruptcy as animal rights demonstrators applied intense pressure to its financial backers.

It was saved as a result of a deal with its American bank.

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See also:

01 Jun 01 | Features
Protests in a quiet corner
28 Mar 01 | Business
Lab firm ditched by share brokers
29 Jan 01 | Business
US group bails out Huntingdon
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