Animal Aid

19 March Deadline: Protest Against Planned Aquarium

Posted 14 March 2007

Bedfordshire County Council have announced that they have extended the public consultation period for the NIRAH planning application to Monday 19th March.

NIRAH (National Institute for Research into Aquatic Habitats) has submitted a planning application to build a new, huge aquarium in Bedfordshire. The Captive Animals Protection Society (CAPS), Bedford Animal Action and Animal Aid have criticised the NIRAH Project for its planned captivity of wild-caught aquatic animals and its proposed laboratory where drug companies would experiment on animals.

The NIRAH project is being supported by local councils and MPs despite the fact that it will have devastating consequences, not only for the animals forced to live within its confines, but also for local residents who will have to bear the brunt of the negative effects of this development. The estimated cost of building has spiralled from £160 million to £375 million. NIRAH has already been accused of shifting its focus "from science to tourism", and plans for the complex now include three hotels, a water park, a cinema and business centre.

It is important that Bedfordshire County Council are made aware of the strength of opposition, so please contact them and let them know your views. Comments can be made in writing, quoting application reference number BC/CM/2006/32, and sent to the NIRAH Team, Bedfordshire County Council, County Hall, Cauldwell Street, Bedford, MK42 9AP or by email to

Objections must be received by Monday 19th March at the latest

For more background information about the problems with the proposed aquarium, please visit CAPS’s website at and Bedford Animal Action’s website at

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