Campaigners accused of misleading animal lovers

The company behind plans to start breeding beagles again in East Yorkshire has told animal rights activists “to stop spouting nonsense.”

They claim protests have been to the detriment of animal welfare and “forced us to fly in dogs from abroad and prevented us from beginning to reduce the number of dogs supplied to science.”

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It comes after Yorkshire Evergreen, also known as B&K, won its appeal against refusal of planning permission allowing them to start breeding at new facilities in Grimston. Dogs were bred onsite till 2010. A petition urging David Cameron to reverse the decision reached more than 372,000 signatures yesterday.

A B&K spokesman said the National Ant-Vivisection Society’s president Jan Creamer had to stop “spouting rubbish” and that animals would continue to be needed, until scientists said otherwise. He said: “Most people signing this petition have been misled into thinking that they will be advancing animal welfare should they succeed in getting David Cameron to agree to their demands. The reverse is true. All it would do is thwart our exercise to raise welfare standards and start work towards supplying fewer dogs (through breeding more study-specific strains).”

NAVS said it was “completely disingenuous” of B&K, which is owned by multi-national animal supplier Marshall Bio Resources, to suggest its main aim was to reduce animal experiments: “B&K’s plans to breed 2,000 dogs each year will flood the market with cheap animals and very likely reverse the positive trend away from tests on dogs.”