In January 2012, then-Communities Secretary Sir Eric Pickles threw out an application for a new puppy breeding facility at Grimston in East Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. The current Communities Secretary, Greg Clark, overturned that decision, granting U.S.-owned Yorkshire Evergreen the permission to begin planning, Sky News reports.
The facility, which has been the subject of much controversy, will be the second facility in Britain designed for breeding Beagles for vivisection (animal experimentation). The two facilities – Yorkshire Evergreen and Harlan – will provide the 3,000 dogs used in laboratory testing in the U.K. each year, Sky News reports. A number of animal rights groups and supporters have spoken out against the decision to allow planning to begin. Jan Creamer, secretary for the National Anti-Vivisection Society, told Sky News, “The number of dog experiments has declined substantially over the past 10 years, but this regressive decision could see that positive trend reversed.”
Ricky Gervais, known animal activist, posted the following on Twitter:
They can’t torture the foxes so they’ll torture the hounds. Government allows beagles to be bred for testing http://t.co/4pUAevfRsA
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) July 16, 2015
The government department that made the decision said, “Ministers are required to assess the application’s conformity with legislation and national and local planning policy, and granted it permission solely on planning grounds,” according to Sky News.
“We welcome this decision. As the European Commission reported earlier this month, we are not yet at the stage where animal research can be completely replaced by non-animal methods, and if we want to see more desperately-needed new therapies for cancer, Alzheimer’s, cystic fibrosis, motor neurone disease and the rest of the long list of conditions that are currently incurable, then animal research will be a necessary part of the drug discovery and development process. Relatively few dogs are used in research in the UK, and their use has to be approved by ethical review boards. By law, scientists also have to prove that they could not get the same results from non-animal alternatives, or from another species of animal. Given that we will continue to need to use dogs in research for the foreseeable future, we believe it is in everyone’s interests that those dogs are bred in the UK and housed in buildings that are designed for their optimum welfare,” Wendy Jarrett, CEO of Understanding Animal Research, said in a post on the UAR website.
The Animal Justice Project has started a petition against Clark’s decision. To learn more, visit Animal Justice Project.