Plans for a new facility that will breed dogs to be used in laboratory experiments have been approved in England.
The application on behalf of B&K Universal, owned by American animal breeding firm Marshall BioResources, for the facility had been rejected twice before because of opposition from local residents and anti-vivisection campaigners. The government overturned the ban today based on an appeal by Secretary of State Greg Clark, reported the Hull Daily Mail.
The breeding center will replace a kennel facility that is owned by Yorkshire Evergreen, also owned by Marshall, which currently only breeds genetically modified mice and serves as a transit point for dogs to be prepped for scientific testing.
The new facility will allow the 200 beagles, 180 puppies, and ferrets that will be kept on the premises to also be bred onsite in order to produce animals for vivisection and drug test experiments, reported the Independent.
“This is a betrayal of the animals, the public and science,” Jan Creamer, the president of the National Anti-Vivisection Society said in a statement. “The number of dog experiments has declined substantially over the past 10 years, but this regressive decision could see that positive trend reversed.”
Only one other UK facility, Harlan Interfauna in Harland, Cambridgeshire, currently breed beagles for vivisections, reported the Daily Mail.
Dogs bred for vivisection sell for around 1,600 pounds ($2,315) apiece, according to Sky News.
A spokesman for B&K Universal told the Independent that animal rights groups’ objections were “emotive, unfounded tosh.” He added:
“Our animals are not ‘reared for a life of suffering’. The vast majority of our clients’ ‘procedures’ involve nothing more distressing than an injection or food additive. No pain is involved. End of.”
“What is disappointing is that many ‘animal rights’ supporters have been allowed to believe that, by opposing our breeding centre, they would be stopping something.
“In fact, all they would have prevented is us raising animal welfare standards by breeding onsite, rather than transporting dogs in from abroad.”