Campaigners against plans to breed beagles in the East Riding have raised one million signatures to debate “cruel and scientifically redundant” animal experiments in the European Parliament.
The Leeds-based Anti-Vivisection Coalition said they were delighted to have reached the minimum level required by the European Commission for it to go before MEPs.
The AVC’s Luke Steele put the campaign’s success down to the sharp rise in animal experiments in the UK – 4.1m last year, including just over 4,000 dogs – and “up and coming scientific evidence that we have looked at the animal model too long and it is not working”.
Campaigners claim as many as 300 breeding dogs producing litters of five could be kept at a new facility at Grimston, if plans are passed.
Chris Magee, from Understanding Animal Research, said they welcomed debate – as long as it was based on accurate information.
He added: “The law is quite clear that it is illegal to use an animal if there is an alternative, so claims that researchers can simply use other techniques are misguided.
“Scientists mainly use mice and, although nobody wants to use an animal, it has given us everything from cancer treatments to the badger TB vaccine, saving and improving billions of human and animal lives.”