TEENAGE campaigner Laurie Pycroft of Swindon has been praised for standing up to animal activists by Professor Robert Winston.

BBC television presenter Prof Winston, whose programmes include Child of Our Time, says that Laurie, a founder member of the group Pro-Test, has "enthused thousands of students and academics."

Pro-Test was launched to support the construction of a new animal research facility at Oxford University the building of which was delayed after animal rights extremists threatened violence against the contractors and other companies involved in its construction.

Prof Winston, of Imperial College London, said that the 16-year-old had put the medical and scientific establishment and universities to shame by speaking out before them.

Writing in the Guardian he said: "Laurie Pycroft was in Oxford when he was outraged to see animal rights protestors marching through the street.

"He wrote out his own protesting placard and waived it furiously.

"Within days Laurie enthused thousands of students and academics."

He added: "Laurie Pycroft's Pro-Test march, on June 3, is a chance to show our support for science and research."