More than 4,000 beagles suffered and died in experiments in the UK in 2009, and tens of thousands more were used worldwide. A company which sells beagles into the vivisection trade has recently applied for planning permission to build a new facility in Yorkshire. Please write to the local council and ask them to refuse permission.
This summer, more than 2,000 PETA supporters contacted East Riding of Yorkshire Council to ask them to turn down an application by B&K Universal (which is owned by Marshall Farms, a huge US supplier of animals for experiments) to demolish existing housing for dogs at Grimston near Hull and erect new and larger breeding facilities. The council turned down the application, but the company has appealed and their appeal will now be considered by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. The government has pledged to “work to reduce” the numbers of animals used in experiments: giving the green light to this factory farm for dogs would therefore be not only immoral but also against their own policies.
It isn’t clear how many dogs would be kept in the facility, but the redevelopment is substantial and there is room to breed hundreds, maybe thousands, of puppies a year. The company’s planning application (11/01324/STPLF) also notes that current outside runs for the dogs would be replaced with “exercise areas, entirely inside the buildings”, ensuring that the animals never would be given the opportunity to even go outside. The new EU directive on animal experiments says that dogs should be provided with outside runs “where possible” but has yet to come into force – this application flouts that principle.
In Britain, dogs are primarily used in pharmaceutical and pesticide toxicity research. They are also subjected to surgery and veterinary research. Previous investigations of breeding “farms” in the UK have found scandalous conditions, including fighting, injuries and the killing of “surplus stock”. Dogs are transported all around the world for experimentation, and last year, PETA US documented terrified dogs confined to crates in a cargo plane who were being sent from the Marshall Farms facilities in the US to the huge Charles River Laboratories toxicity testing facility near Edinburgh.
A decision by Mr Pickles on the application is expected within weeks. Please contact him to let the government know how much opposition there is to breeding dogs for vivisection and to demand that he turn down the appeal.