Vivisection firm defends plans after PETA Bristol protest

A company which breeds dogs for vivisection has defended its application to modernise its facilities after campaigners staged a protest in Bristol

A company which breeds dogs for vivisection has defended its application to modernise its facilities after campaigners staged a protest in Bristol at the weekend.

A group of animal rights activists from pressure group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) held a static protest outside the Bristol offices of the Planning Inspectorate at Broad Quay on Saturday.

The group covered their faces with beagle masks and held placards saying “No to Grimston Beagle Farm” – a facility owned by B & K Universal in Yorkshire.

PETA is demanding that the Planning Inspectorate refuse permission for B & K Universal to modernise its beagle dog breeding facility. The planning application has already been refused by Grimston Council but the company has appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

“This factory farm for dogs wouldn’t just breed puppies for toxic chemical tests in the UK,” said Peter Currie, Policy Adviser for PETA, “it would also likely sell dogs overseas to countries where animals in laboratories have even less protection than they do here.”

The group is calling for the Inspectorate to refuse the plan on the basis of public opposition to animal experiments.

B & K Universal is a subsidiary of US lab animal supplier Marshall Farms which, according to PETA, has been repeatedly reprimanded by US authorities on grounds of animal welfare violations. The planned facility would have no outside access for the animals, the group claims. PETA says that dogs are mainly used for toxicity testing in the UK including tests with pesticides and other toxic chemicals.

A spokesman for B & K Universal said that the company is not expanding their operations but merely seeking to modernise their existing facilities which have been in operation since the 1960s, with B & K acquiring ownership in 1972.

The company states that the application will therefore have no impact on the numbers of animals they supply for research since there are tough rules that govern the use of animals for this purpose. The company also maintains that government vets and doctors make regular checks, often unannounced, in order to make sure the animals are properly treated.

“The testing is only approved by the Home Office after a full harm-benefit analysis has been performed,” a spokesman for B & K said. “The research must always be done using the animal species with the lowest capacity to experience pain, suffering, distress or lasting harm – dogs are only used when absolutely necessary.”

Animal experimentation remains a contentious issue in the UK. Medical researchers insist that animal experiments have saved and improved the lives of millions of people and that many of today’s human and veterinary medicines and medical procedures could not have been developed without some procedures on animals.

Animal rights and anti-vivisection groups continue to dispute this saying that vivisection is not necessary for human health.

3 Responses to Vivisection firm defends plans after PETA Bristol protest
  1. elain
    October 21, 2011 | 4:55 pm

    actually if you look at the research done, it seems they are the alternatives ready available, and toxins act differently in animals as they do in humans, but there is plenty of money to be gained at the moments , the law needs reviewing,

  2. guest
    September 6, 2011 | 6:43 pm

    Ever watch someone slowly die from ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease)? Believe me – having done this twice, it's not pretty, it's not kind, and it's not predictable – except for the excruciating death at the end. It strikes people with no recourse, other than suicide, and no drugs to stem the tide. It's an inevitable death – death by smothering while your brain is fully aware of what's happening.

    I sincerely hope these protesters or someone they love are diagnosed with ALS or another debilitating and fatal disease! Then – let's see if they want animal research to help find a cure.

    • Dee
      September 7, 2011 | 7:01 am

      Agony and torture is no justification. Experimentation and horrifying pain will not find a "cure" for ALS.

Today's news and features
Guide to Record Store Day 2014 in Bristol

It's back with a bang this year - here's our guide to what's going down for #RSD14 (Read more...)

To love Bristol is to protect its history

Love means protecting and cherishing. If you don't see any value in doing that for your city, you may as well tell your wife to get a face transplant (Read more...)

Banksy in Bristol: Artwork could go on display over Easter

The new Banksy artwork which appeared in Bristol this week could go on show over the Easter weekend at the City Museum and Art Gallery (Read more...)

Banksy in Bristol: War of words over ownership of new artwork

George Ferguson has said he wants the new Banksy to benefit local youth club and the whole city, as a row broke out over who owns now world-famous art(Read more...)

Bristol to host May Day tribute event for Tony Benn

Bristolians will have the chance to pay a tribute to former city MP and Labour Party giant Tony Benn at a May Day memorial event (Read more...)

Five best motoring magazines to read

If you spend every waking moment thinking about exhausts, paint jobs and AA Cars, then consider a subscription to one of many popular motoring magazin(Read more...)

Sign up for the Bristol24-7 newsletter

By signing up, you will receive access to news and special offers

It's quick and easy to join... just fill in the form below. Thank you!

Your Name*

Your Email*

Your Postcode area (BS1, BS2 etc)*

What are you most interested in? (You can choose more than one!)*
What's On Food and Drink Business Motoring Travel Special offers 

Bristol247 newsletter