PLANS for a new beagle breeding facility in East Yorkshire, which would supply dogs for experiments, were rejected today by councillors.
One of the most contentious applications in the region in years, the proposals sparked 6,406 objections as well as two petitions, one with 40,646 signatures, and another with 516 names.
Campaigners said testing on animals was unethical and unreliable, while locals in Grimston were concerned about construction traffic navigating narrow country lanes and once again having police on their doorsteps as demonstrators returned.
Today’s decision by East Riding councillors was welcomed by the pressure group British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection.
Its chief executive Michelle Thew said: “The BUAV is delighted by this outcome. Thousands of animals will be spared as a result of this decision. On behalf of everyone who signed the petition and spoke out against plans for this facility, we thank the East Riding Councillors for everything they have done today for the animals.”
Comedian Ricky Gervais was among those to lend his name to this week’s protest against the plans by B&K Universal.
Currently beagles are bred at only one other centre in the UK, Harlan Laboratories, in Wyton, near Huntingdon.
Proposals for a larger facility on the same site - which also provoked a huge outcry - were rejected by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, following an appeal by the developers last year.
B&K say they have scaled back their plans and addressed previous reasons for refusal.
Dogs were bred at the site until 2010 and are still being supplied from there.