Gervais backs anti-vivisectionist campaign against dog farm plan

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COMEDIAN Ricky Gervais has spoken out in support of a campaign to stop plans for a large-scale dog breeding farm in East Yorkshire which would supply beagles for experiments.

Gervais, who has backed other campaigns run by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, spoke out after being contacted on Twitter by one of his fans.

The multi-award winning comedian, actor and writer said: “I am disgusted to learn of these plans to breed beagles for experiments. It is unacceptable that these gentle and trusting dogs should be treated as commodities. If B&K’s plans go ahead, thousands of dogs will be born to spend the rest of their short lives in a laboratory cage, where they will suffer in cruel experiments.”

American-owned B&K Universal appealed after being refused planning permission by East Riding Council in June to redevelop its facilities in Grimston.

The plans have proved hugely controversial, attracting 28,000 signatures on an online petition.

A final decision made by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is expected in early January.

Pro-testing organisations cite the discovery of insulin in dogs in the 1920s by Banting and Best as a “good example” of the contribution animal research makes to medical progress.

B&K has previously said the upgrade “will improve the conditions for the animals, improve the conditions for people who work in the company and create employment opportunities.”

BUAV Chief Executive Michelle Thew said: “We are delighted to receive the support of Ricky Gervais on this important issue.”

She added: “There are a range of modern, humane, non-animal research techniques available to scientists which should be used instead of inflicting suffering on dogs and other animals in laboratories.”