Government urged to reject Grimston beagle farm plans

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ANIMAL rights campaigners are urging the Government to reject an appeal for a new beagle farm in Yorkshire.

The controversial plans attracted tens of thousands of objections before being turned down by East Riding Council’s planning committee last year after hearing it would blight the lives of residents in the tiny coastal village of Grimston, in Holderness.

But Yorkshire Evergreen, which runs the site, used for nearly half a century as an animal research facility, has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate. It says the new building is needed to remain competitive, safeguard existing jobs and create ten more and “improve animal welfare.”

The plans, which campaigners said would have seen as many 300 breeding dogs - each producing litters of five - housed at Grimston, saw opposition from celebrities including Ricky Gervais, naturalist Chris Packham and radio presenter Mark Radcliffe.

Campaigners from the National Anti-Vivisection Society say science is moving away from testing on dogs.

Chief executive Jan Creamer said: “Dogs are pumped with fertilisers, pesticides and drugs and killed after suffering in crude and painful experiments. Poisoning dogs when more sophisticated scientific methods are available is unjustifiable.

“The Government has promised to reduce the number of animal experiments, so we urge the Planning Inspectorate to once again reject Bantin & Kingman Universal’s (the original firm’s name) plans to breed beagles in Yorkshire for experiments.”

However Yorkshire Evergreen said without the development the future of the Grimston operation “will be put in doubt - with possibly severe knock-on effects for jobs.”

They said the development would allow less live animals to be used in medical research by producing project-specific strains and it would tackle a shortage of UK-bred animals. They could also breed ferrets needed for research into vaccines for forms of influenza including Avian flu. A statement added: “Significantly the ending of the delivery of dogs to Grimston from distant/overseas suppliers will also eliminate welfare concerns about long distance transportation.”