Beagle facility plans rejected in ‘victory for public opinion’

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Campaigners have hailed a “victory for public opinion” after Communities Secretary Eric Pickles rejected controversial plans to expand a beagle breeding facility in East Yorkshire.

More than 26,000 people signed an online petition and 32 MPs wrote to a Government Inspector expressing their concerns after American-owned B&K Universal appealed, following a refusal of planning permission by East Riding Council last year.

Inspector Mark Dakeyne said the impact of the development on nearby listed buildings and residents would be “unacceptable”, a conclusion the Communities Secretary agreed with.

The plans involved demolishing its existing buildings and putting up four new ones, enclosing outside runs where beagles have been kept.

Chief Executive of the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection Michelle Thew said: “We applaud the Communities Secretary for rejecting plans for a beagle breeding facility in Yorkshire to supply laboratories.

“Using dogs in tests is an issue that raises strong public concern, and this has been reflected in the huge response we have had for our campaign.

“This is a victory for public opinion, and of course the beagles.”

Ward councillor Matthew Grove said: “This is a great victory for local democracy with the Government clearly listening to local concerns, but I fear what may follow, as the owners are free to continue breeding animals on the site as they have done for 40 years, in less than ideal facilities that have caused considerable disturbance to residents in the past.

“It concerns me that the planning system is not the vehicle to debate the important and pressing issues surrounding vivisection, but Parliament is.

“I hope the MPs from across the country who made representations to the inspector, will use their position in Parliament to bring about a full and proper review of this country’s need for and regulation of vivisection.”