Prescott launches legal bid to build primate laboratory

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The Independent Online

John Prescott will go to the High Court today to keep alive plans to build a primate research centre at Cambridge.

Animal rights campaigners are challenging the Deputy Prime Minister's decision to overrule his own planning inspector, who found against the project, proposed for a green- field site at Huntingdon Road.

Since then, plans to build the £32m neurological research centre have collapsed amid soaring costs and opposition from animal-rights activists.

Although Cambridge University pulled the plug on the project in January, saying the centre was financially unviable even without the expected costs of meeting extra security, Mr Prescott's move means building could resume at any time over the next five years.

Meanwhile, the Home Secretary, David Blunkett, warned that an animal rights extremist could be kicked out of Britain after apparently calling for scientists to be killed.

Jerry Vlasak, an American adviser to animal rights groups, claimed that assassinating vivisectionists could save millions of animals' lives.