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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 October, 2003, 17:46 GMT
Cash shortage for animal lab plans
Cambridge University
The laboratory was originally estimated to cost 20m
A cash shortfall could throw plans for a controversial animal testing laboratory at Cambridge University into doubt.

The scheme, which has sparked protests by animal rights campaigners, was first proposed in May 2000 and was expected to cost about 20m.

Now the university has revealed the plans have hit a financial barrier because of rising costs - blamed on inflation, the cost of meeting new regulations and providing security measures.

The proposals have also caused concern with the university's governing body, the Regent House, which felt it had not been informed about the extent of animal experiments at the laboratory.

Regent House said it felt "misled" when the university asked for permission to push ahead with the plans.

Financial risks

The university council, in a report published on Thursday, said details of academic work to be carried out at facilities do not always have to be included in reports about new building proposals.

University academics have argued all necessary rules were followed and the laboratory, which is still awaiting government approval, would be crucial in the fight against diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Professor Tony Minson, pro-vice-chancellor, said: "The council was clear that there were no procedural irregularities in the way this was taken forward and they remain convinced of the academic case.

"The fact that the financial risks have risen since it was first projected must also be pointed out.

"The mounting costs of security and animal welfare are ones that must be addressed at a national level if Britain is to remain at the forefront of biomedical research."

Activists protest at animal lab
11 Oct 03  |  Cambridgeshire
Debate on future of animal lab
07 Oct 03  |  Cambridgeshire
Animal laboratory inquiry ends
08 Jan 03  |  England
Cambridge argues for monkey research
25 Nov 02  |  Science/Nature

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