Five years after construction first started, then stopped, then started again, Oxford University's controversial animal research lab officially opened its doors today (Nov. 11). Construction of the £18 million ($28 million) linkurl:Biomedical Sciences Building;http://www.ox.ac.uk/animal_research/the_biomedical_sciences_building/index.html began in 2003, but was linkurl:suspended;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22297/ in 2004 for 16 months after the contractors pulled out in the face of intimidation from animal rights activists. The university then obtained an linkurl:injunction against the protestors,;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22318/ established an exclusion zone around the facility, and the government provided additional security to allow the lab's linkurl:construction to go ahead.;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/22849/ The four-story building is still ringed by a wooden fence topped with barbed wire, and remains under constant surveillance by CCTV cameras. Only mice have been moved into the facility so far. But over the coming months, the lab's staff plans to transfer other animals -- including ferrets, tadpoles, zebrafish, and monkeys -- into the center, which will bring...
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