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  Plans to cut animal experiments
Updated 21 May 2004, 15.37
Lab rat
The government has announced it is setting up a centre to improve the way animals are treated in experiments.

Science Minister Lord Sainsbury said it would try to cut the number of animals being tested on, and improve the conditions they live in too.

In January, plans were scrapped to build a new centre to carry out tests on monkeys after protests against them.

The government will increase funding for replacing and caring for animals in experiments from 330,000 to 660,000.

But some animal rights groups say the new centre is just hiding the fact that animal experiments don't actually help humans.

Around 2.7 million animals are used in experiments each year, mainly mice.

Scientists and drug firms say animal tests will carry on being necessary for the next few years.

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