Here We Go Again: Company Restarts Plans to Breed Beagles for Research
Last year public outcry helped stop plans to build a breeding facility for beagles intended for research in the UK, but the company that caused the controversy isn’t giving up. They recently proposed a similar project at the same site.
The East Yorkshire site is already owned by Bantin & Kingman Universal Ltd (B&K), which is part of the U.S. company Marshall BioResources. The facility is currently used to breed smaller lab animals and house beagles intended for use in research, but the company wants to expand and breed dogs there.
Last time around objections were raised by a number of animal advocacy groups, local residents and the general public who all had concerns about the cruelty inherent in breeding and keeping dogs for research. In the end, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and the Planning Committee of East Riding Council both rejected B&K’s proposal, but the company isn’t going to give up on trying to get a better share of the UK marketŁ.
B&K’s general manager Roy Sutcliffe told the Hull Daily Mail that this plan is a scaled-down version that addresses the concerns that were previously raised and that the option to breed dogs would reduce the need for beagles to be transported to the facility. He added that B&K has a license from the Home Office and is regularly visited by its inspectors, who can show up at any time without warning. However, we’ve already seen how meaningless that is when it comes to keeping animals safe from unnecessary suffering.
Now, a number of animal advocacy groups, celebrities and the public are back fighting to stop the company from moving forward.
This unpopular and unwanted facility will be responsible for breeding thousands of beagle dogs for a life in the laboratory, where they will be subjected to painful tests. It not only goes against good scientific practice, but runs counter to moves towards non-animal methods. We can only hope that common sense will prevail and that these plans will be overturned once again, said National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) Chief Executive Jan Creamer.
Last year more than 3,000 dogs were used in experiments in the UK, which mainly consisted of toxicity tests for both drugs and agricultural chemicals. According to NAVS, these beagles, who have been chosen because of their gentle and trusting nature, will be force-fed chemicals or have toxic substances pumped into their veins, which can make them so sick that they will die in agony or need to be euthanized on welfare grounds. Previous investigations of the only other beagle breeding facility in the UK, Harlan-Hillcrest, have shown that the lives of dogs who are bred and used in experiments or killed as “surplus stock” are nothing short of a nightmare. No dog, or any animal, should be subjected to these conditions.
Opponents of the project argue that in addition to the cruelty involved, the facility will cause problems for local residents because it will subject them to lengthy construction, large vehicles will cause damage to roadways, there will be sound pollution, and the disposal of animal waste could be problematic. They are hoping the East Riding Council will consider these factors before approving the plan because it won’t be denied on an ethical basis alone or simply because we love dogs.
Please sign and share the petition asking the East Riding Council to deny the company’s proposal for both the dogs and for local residents who don’t want this plan get approved.
Photo credit: Compassion in World Farming