Animal Aid

Government says 'no' to massive dog vivisection breeding factory

Posted 27 January 2012

Plans for a massive expansion of an East Yorkshire facility that breeds dogs for animal research have been rejected by the government. The local authority had earlier turned down the proposal by laboratory suppliers B&K Universal for its site at Grimston near Hull, on the grounds that the expansion would cause traffic disruption. But B&K appealed the decision. Now the government has ruled that the development cannot go ahead.

Planning law demands that objections be focused on such non-contentious ‘technical’ issues as traffic problems. But there is no doubt that there was also a groundswell of local opposition on moral grounds. Grass roots campaign group, the National Anti-Vivisection Alliance (NAVA), did much to mobilise and give expression to this opposition. At a recent NAVA demonstration in Hull against the B&K plan, Animal Aid Director Andrew Tyler was among the speakers.

Credit must also go to the BUAV, which generated a 28,000-signature petition demanding permission be refused, and also attracted a good deal of media attention as a result of the celebrity support it garnered for its position.

An estimated 2,000 dogs would have been confined in the new B&K facility, in giant, windowless units, without ever seeing the light of day. Their next stop would be research labs across the UK and further afield. Here, the majority would have been used in lethal toxicity tests, whose symptoms include seizures, vomiting and bloody diarrhoea. As well as causing such suffering, a wealth of evidence demonstrates that data from dog experiments cannot be relied upon to indicate what substances might prove harmful to people.

Dogs bred by B&K would also be used in the kind of intensely invasive disease research that has been conducted on more than 250 beagles over many years at Leeds University. This cruel and medically irrelevant programme, largely funded by the British Heart Foundation, is the subject of an ongoing Animal Aid campaign.

While dogs will continue to be bred by B&K for laboratory experiments, the rejection by the Secretary of State of the company’s expansion plans is a positive and significant development. It reflects the government’s awareness of just how unpopular dog experiments are with the general public.

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