Protests at animal testing ‘will deter tourists’

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Local residents who object to the redevelopment of an East Yorkshire centre which will breed animals for testing say they fear a repeat of demonstrations which it has attracted in the past.

People living near Grimston, on the East Coast of Yorkshire, where US-based Marshall BioResources wants to revamp the old B&K Universal facility, believe there’s “every chance” protesters will beat a path to the village, and say that could have a detrimental impact on tourism.

They also question the cost of policing any protests on the public purse. One objector said: “The purpose of the proposed buildings is not revealed; we believe the applicant intends to breed hundreds, probably thousands of dogs on this site.

“Over many years the quality of life for residents of Grimston and Garton has suffered as a result of the use of the site in question, in part because of intermittent demonstrations, direct action and protests against animal breeding together with a restraining police presence.

“We believe that the proposed dog breeding will attract further protests. Anti-vivisection groups are proposing to take action. The success of thousands of demonstrators in Montichiari near Verona in Italy in opposing the application of Marshalls to expand their five shed, 2,500 beagle capacity “farm” has encouraged protesters in the UK.

“The policing cost to East Riding ratepayers could become significant.

“Tourism is a far bigger industry for the East Coast than the employment that may be offered by breeding thousands of dogs.”

The local objections follow complaints from around the globe sparked by a call by the National Anti-Vivisection Alliance to oppose the “Marshall UK Beagle Factory.”

According to the Grimston-based company, Marshall stopped breeding last year, having bought the company in 2009. It has said the upgrade “will improve the conditions for the animals, improve the conditions for people who work in the company and create employment opportunities.”

It has also said animals wouldn’t have to be imported and it was better they were “produced in the UK to UK standards of welfare and care.”

Councillors at East Riding Council will make a decision on plans, involving demolishing existing buildings and putting up four new ones, at a later date.