Rock guitarist and respected wildlife campaigner, Dr Brian May, and SAVE-ME have joined the BUAV campaign to stop a proposal to build a beagle breeding facility in Yorkshire to supply beagles for experiments.
Dr Brian May stated: "Beagles, indisputably, are highly intelligent sentient creatures, friends of Man for centuries. It is completely morally unjustifiable for these animals to be made to suffer in the name of science, and I am shocked to learn of plans to set up a facility in Yorkshire to breed and supply beagles to the research industry. We at SAVE-ME support the BUAV campaign, and I urge The Right Hon, Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, to listen to the concerns of the British public, and to reject this appeal - thereby preventing this facility from being built."
The proposal to build the farm in Grimston would result in the breeding of thousands of beagles to be used in experiments both in the UK and overseas. Following the BUAV campaign, these plans were initially rejected by the local planning authorities. The applicant, Bantin & Kingman Ltd. (B&K), one of the UK’s largest suppliers of animals to laboratories, subsequently appealed the decision which will now be decided by Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. A decision is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
In 2010, over 5,000 experiments were carried out on dogs in UK laboratories. Beagles are largely used in toxicity (poisoning) testing both for human and veterinary drugs, as well as agrochemicals. They can be force fed chemicals and drugs in capsules or via plastic tubes inserted through their mouths, directly into their stomach or strapped into a harness for hours at a time while substances are pumped directly into their bloodstream. Animals can suffer adverse effects that result in vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss and lethargy. Some dogs may become so ill that they either die or have to be euthanased for welfare purposes.
The BUAV’s Chief Executive, Michelle Thew said: “We are delighted that Brian May and SAVE ME are supporting our campaign. The use of dogs in research is highly controversial and a subject that raises strong public concern. There is a range of non-animal research techniques that provide a humane approach to science which should be used instead of breeding dogs to suffer and die in experiments.”