More than 345,000 sign petition calling on PM to reverse beagle farm plans

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More than 345,000 people have signed a petition calling on David Cameron to reverse the decision to allow plans to controversially expand a beagle breeding farm in East Yorkshire.

The petition at change.org by Emma Hart, from Merseyside, brands Communities Secretary Greg Clark’s decision last week as “wrong and cruel” and says the animals will “never know love (and) compassion, just pain, suffering and neglect.”

The successful appeal against East Riding Council’s refusal of planning permission means Yorkshire Evergreen, also known as B&K, can start breeding laboratory beagles again in new facilities at Grimston after a four-year battle.

The plans suggest 200 adult dogs and 180 puppies could be kept at the site, one of only two breeding facilities in the UK.

Jan Creamer, President of the National Anti-Vivisection Society, urged people to sign the petition, adding: “It is indefensible to encourage animal research whilst science is moving away from outdated and unreliable animal experiments and towards cutting edge non-animal alternatives. Plans to breed puppies in Yorkshire for experiments have remained controversial for years and have quite rightly been rejected on numerous occasions.”

Understanding Animal Research says the regulatory authorities require any new medicine to be tested on a rodent, and a larger, non-rodent species - in the UK usually a dog - before it can be given to human volunteers in clinical trials.

It said open heart surgery and organ transplantation had been made possible thanks to research using dogs - and all medicines used on pet dogs had been tested on dogs first.