Beagle Farm Plans Rejected In Yorkshire Victory For Animal Rights


Plans for a "beagle farm" breeding dogs for scientific experiments have been rejected after massive public opposition.

The proposal to build the facility in the village of Grimston, north Yorkshire, was turned down by East Riding councillors.

More than 30,000 people signed a petition opposing the scheme from the British Union for Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), which was submitted to the council on Monday.

A number of celebrities including comedian Ricky Gervais joined in the protest.

Today's announcement coincides with a BUAV report claiming to show that dog experiments are not necessary for drug development.

In 2012, more than 3,000 dogs were used in 4,843 experiments in the UK, some of which were involved in multiple tests.

Jan Creamer, chief executive of the National Anti-Vivisection Society (Navs) congratulated the council on their decision.

"This is a significant victory for animals, public opinion and modern science. The Council has shown today that using dogs in experiments is quite literally a dying industry," she said.

Dogs taking part in scientific experiments are made to inhale toxic substances through masks, force fed through tubes, and are strapped in harnesses while being injected with drugs, said Navs.

Substances tested on dogs included weed killer, pharmaceutical drugs, and industrial chemicals.

BUAV chief executive Michelle Thew said: "Thousands of animals will be spared as a result of this decision. On behalf of everyone who signed the petition and spoke out against plans for this facility, we thank the East Riding councillors for everything they have done today for the animals."

But the organisation Understanding Animal Research, which defends animal testing, argued that dogs were needed to ensure the safety of new medicines.

It pointed out that without the facility animals would have to be imported from abroad.

Chief executive Wendy Jarrett said: ""We are very disappointed that East Riding of Yorkshire Council has ignored the advice of its officers and has rejected this planning application.

"While scientists don't want to have to use dogs - or any animal for that matter - the fact is they remain essential for safety testing new medicines before they are given to human beings. It would have been much better for the dogs if they could be bred here in the UK rather than having to be flown in from abroad."

Estate managers Yorkshire Evergreen applied for permission to build the facility on behalf of the company B&K Universal, which supplies dogs and other animals for research. It had scaled down an earlier proposal for four buildings, replacing it with a single 1,200 square metre unit.

B&K Universal already has premises at Grimston which house laboratory animals but wanted to expand the site to allow breeding of beagles, ferrets and rodents for use in laboratories.

David Gatehouse, spokesman for B&K Universal, said people need to see through animal rights campaigners' "medieval quackery".

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