New plans submitted to breed beagles for scientific testing in UK

Anti-animal testing activists are petitioning against the plans, but the would-be breeders already have a licence from the Home Office

A new breeding centre to supply beagles for animal testing could be set up in the UK, less than two years after a set of similar plans were rejected on the same site.

The planning committee for East Riding in Yorkshire must now decide whether to approve the new set of plans from the US-backed firm B&K Universal, a branch of Marshal BioResources.

The downsized scheme would see the building of one large structure, instead of four small ones, able to supply 2,000 dogs a year to scientific facilities across the UK.

The company has argued that laws require new medicines to be tested on animals before they can go for human trials, and said that if beagles cannot be bread domestically they will just be shipped in from abroad instead.

But they have clashed with animal rights groups, who want the Government to honour its promise to reduce animal testing and say the practice is not necessary to ensure new drugs are safe.

The UK market for beagles is reportedly worth around £2.5 million a year. They are the chosen breed for testing because of their friendliness, docility and relatively small size – often the same reasons that make them popular pets.

The National Anti-Vivisection Society described the plans as cruel and has launched a campaign to fight them.

“Allowing the planned beagle breeding facility would increase the supply of beagles which goes against the Government’s pledge to reduce the number of animals in experiments,” the group's chief executive Jan Creamer told Sky News.

More than 10,000 people have signed a petition against the plans from a separate animal rights group, the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection, which warned: “Beagles are largely used in toxicity (poisoning) testing both for human and veterinary drugs, as well as agrochemicals.”

“They can be force fed chemicals and drugs in capsules or via plastic tubes inserted through their mouths, directly into their stomach or strapped into a harness for hours at a time while substances are pumped directly into their bloodstream. Animals can suffer adverse effects that result in vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss and lethargy. Some dogs may become so ill that they either die or have to be euthanised for welfare purposes.”

B&K Universal owns the land at the site in Grimston, and holds a licence from the Home Office to breed the dogs. Its plans were rejected in January last year because they were deemed not in keeping with the surrounding area, and amid fears of noise pollution and disruptive construction works.

The company’s general manager Roy Sutcliffe told the Hull Daily Mail: “This is a scaled-down application and we have addressed all the concerns raised.

“We are not able, at this moment in time, to breed the dogs on site and they have a long journey to reach us from overseas.”

Last year, 3,118 beagles were required by the UK medical research industry – up from 2,771 the previous year, said Mr Sutcliffe.

If plans are approved, B&K will be competing with a centre run by Harlan in Cambridgeshire, currently the only beagle breeding site in Britain.

Any decision made by the East Riding committee will be based purely on whether or not the proposals breach planning laws – and not on the emotive issue of whether beagles should be used for animal testing.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
News
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British author Howard Jacobson has been long-listed for the Man Booker Prize
books
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Sport
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Systems Analyst (Technical, UML, UI)

£30000 - £40000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Cost Reporting-MI Packs-Edinburgh-Bank-£350/day

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...

Senior Private Client Solicitor - Gloucestershire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - We are makin...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Support Developer

£50000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A unique and rare opport...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn