The BUAV was today joined by beagle Oliver (homed by the BUAV during a 2013 investigation at a UK laboratory) to hand in a petition of over 99 thousand signatures to Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government in a demonstration of the high level of public concern and opposition to the facility.
National controversy has been caused in recent months following the submission of an appeal by Bantin & Kingman for a planning application to be granted in Yorkshire so that beagles and other animals can be bred for the research industry.
The BUAV campaign is being backed by a number of MPs, including Kerry McCarthy, Henry Smith and Sir Roger Gale, and high-profile figures, including Ricky Gervais, Chris Packham, Jilly Cooper and Carley Stenson.
The BUAV has already campaigned against two previous applications in recent years and each time the application has been rejected – most notably by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles in 2012.
Although applications and appeals of this kind are usually decided upon at local Government level, Mr Pickles has ‘recovered’ the application for the second time and will be considering the revised version in coming weeks.
CEO of the BUAV, Michelle Thew, said: “There is widespread public concern about this planning appeal. People simply do not want a facility within their community breeding hundreds, possibly thousands of dogs, to suffer and die in the name of research. There is a strong ethical and scientific case to end these outdated experiments and strong planning reasons to reject the appeal. We therefore call on Eric Pickles to adhere to what the public wants and what is best for animal welfare and immediately reject the appeal.”
Ricky Gervais responded to the recent appeal, stating: “If the Government allows this proposed facility to be built there will be hundreds – if not thousands - of dogs whose only existence will be for use by the research industry and then killed. Please join me and the BUAV to ensure that this doesn’t happen.”
The sentiment has been echoed by Wildlife presenter, Chris Packham, who said: “No dog should be trapped inside a laboratory and never experience freedom or love from a caring family. Please join me in calling on the Planning Inspectorate to reject this appeal and prevent thousands of puppies being born to die.”
Sir Roger Gale, MP said: “I wish the BUAV every success in their campaign to bring a halt to the use of dogs and cats in scientific experiments and look forward to the day when validated alternatives permit the Government to introduce the necessary legislation to achieve this.”
Kerry McCarthy, MP said: “I support the BUAV’s campaign to reject B&K’s appeal to erect a building for breeding beagles for research.”
Henry Smith, MP said: “Many people living in Yorkshire will have a dog in their home and will be horrified to learn about the possibility of a beagle breeding facility nearby. I fully support the BUAV’s campaign to reject this planning appeal.”
Adrian Sanders, MP said: “As a nation of animal lovers many people will be shocked to learn that such a facility is proposed to breed animals. This should be prevented from happening.”