Questions in the House of Commons have exposed previously hidden support being given by Government officials for an expansion of dog-breeding for animal experiments.
The move, by officials in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Home Office, comes even though the local council has rejected the proposal and the appeal is still being considered by the Planning Inspectorate for the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). Ostensibly, the application by B&K Universal Ltd to expand their facilities to breed dogs and ferrets destined for animal laboratories is being neutrally considered by the Government, after the local Conservative-led council rejected the plans and B&K appealed. However, questions by Grahame Morris MP have uncovered advice being given by BIS and the Home Office to help B&K win their appeal in the DCLG.
The BUAV is leading the campaign against the proposed extensions, and has submitted detailed legal arguments about why the planning application should again be rejected. Over 15,000 people have already signed its petition calling on the Planning Inspectorate to reject B&K’s appeal.
Michelle Thew, CEO of the BUAV said,"This shows two Government Departments working to undermine the neutrality of another Department, at the expense of both the animals and the local residents and council who have put forward their objections in good faith. Our suspicions were raised by a bizarre press release from B&K, in which they eccentrically urged journalists to contact the Home Office for advice on the philosophy of animal experiments and falsely claimed that 98% of experiments cause no significant suffering for animals. We are very grateful to Mr Morris for exposing the true position.’
In a further move which condemns the decision-making process to the shadows, the Planning Inspectorate has taken the provisional view that the appeal should be decided by written submissions instead of in public. The BUAV is urging the Planning Inspectorate to hold an open and public inquiry so that complicated evidence requiring cross-examination can be given a fair hearing.
The public can show their support for the BUAV’s campaign against the planning appeal by signing the petition at http://bit.ly/yorkshirebeagles