TEENAGER Laurie Pycroft is taking a stand against animal rights activists.

The 16-year-old, from Swindon, said that he isn't afraid to become a target for terrorists who prevent scientists from making medical advances.

Today Laurie, founder of PRO-TEST, a group in favour of building a new animal research facility at Oxford University took to the streets of Oxford with supporters of the cause in peaceful protest.

The teenager, who wants to become a doctor, got involved in arguments surrounding the use of animals in medical testing after seeing a demonstration by a group which opposes the building of the controversial £18m facility, on South Parks, Oxford.

"They were shouting stop the Oxford animal lab' so I went out and started marching behind them shouting build the Oxford animal lab", he said.

He became the target of verbal abuse and decided someone needed to speak out in support of the building.

The building attracted the attention of animal rights activists after it was revealed that the centre would be used for primate-based research into Parkinson's disease.

But by speaking in favour of the animal testing facility Laurie has is risking both his own and his family's safety.

Thames Valley Police have offered the teenager and his family safety advice.

But he said he refuses to be intimidated by the activists.

"I believe extremely strongly in this issue and also in free speech."