Oxford lobby group Pro-Test has welcomed Tony Blair's decision to sign an online petition in support of animal testing.

Pro-Test organised a march in February in support of Oxford University's new £18m animal research laboratory being built in South Parks Road.

At the weekend, Mr Blair announced he was signing the petition organised by the Coalition for Medical Progress.

He said the Government would consult on plans to keep shareholders' names secret, after extremists threatened shareholders in GlaxoSmithKline that they would have their names published on the Internet unless they sold their shares.

Tom Holder, a spokesman for Pro-Test, said the group was buying 10 shares in GlaxoSmithKline to show their support for medical research, and their solidarity with those targeted by animal rights extremists.

He added that Pro-Test would be holding a public meeting at Oxford Town Hall on Monday and a demonstration on June 3, in Parks Road, at 11.45am.