A group of activists for the protection of animals attacked Wednesday a Brazilian pharmaceutical research laboratory and removed the mice and hamsters being used for medical research - the same institution they attacked in October and freed 178 dogs.

The laboratory in the city of San Roque, 59 kilometers (37 miles) from Sao Paulo, was known for using canines of the Beagle breed for medical experiments to find cures for diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and other diseases.

The activists, who accused the lab of animal abuse, attacked it on Oct. 17 and, besides removing the dogs and some rabbits, they destroyed furnishings and equipment.

In Wednesday's attack, the activists kept the security guards of the Royal Institute captive while doing further damage to the fixtures, breaking the windows and freeing any animals remaining, which were mostly mice.

Last week the institution announced it was closing down for lack of security. EFE