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Ricky Gervais and Dr Brian May join BUAV in welcoming rejection of beagle farm

26/01/2012

Following a popular BUAV campaign, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has today rejected plans by Bantin & Kingman Ltd. to build a breeding facility in Yorkshire which would supply beagles for experiments.

Over the last few months the BUAV has led the effort to stop the planned beagle breeding facility. Our campaign has received widespread public support and media coverage as well as backing from celebrities such as Ricky Gervais and Dr Brian May

On hearing the good news, Dr Brian May told the BUAV:

"This is a great victory for animals. My voice was only one of many supporting the BUAV's campaign to stop this abuse of beagles, but Save-Me applauds the decision of the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on this matter, in response to public opinion. We note that there is a growing concern in this country for Animal Welfare, and we hope for similar reconsideration by the government in regard to the barbaric mass cull of badgers which has just been announced."

Ricky Gervais expressed his delight: "I'm so pleased that plans to breed beagles for experiments has been stopped. Think of their little happy furry faces. Thanks to the BUAV for their efforts to protect these beagles and many other animals suffering in our labs."

The planning application was initially rejected by the local planning authorities in June last year. The BUAV submitted a petition with over 28,000 signatures collected in just over two weeks, along with a document explaining why there is no justification for another dog breeding facility. Bantin & Kingman Ltd. subsequently appealed the decision which has now been decided by Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

The proposal to build the farm in Grimston would have resulted in the breeding of thousands of beagles to be used in experiments both in the UK and overseas. 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. Dogs 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 applaud the Communities Secretary for rejecting plans for a beagle breeding facility in Yorkshire to supply laboratories. Using dogs in tests is an issue that raises strong public concern, and this has been reflected in the huge response we have had for our campaign. This is a victory for public opinion, and of course the beagles.”

“The BUAV has long led the campaign to end the use of animals for research and our investigators have uncovered the sad plight of beagles at breeding facilities where they are treated as little more than a commodity on a production line.”

“Not only is there a strong ethical case to end these outdated experiments, but a range of non-animal research techniques are now available that provide a humane approach to science which can be used instead of breeding dogs to suffer and die in experiments.”

“I want to thank everyone who signed the BUAV petition and wrote to the Communities Secretary to voice your concerns.”