Proposed by Yorkshire Evergeen on behalf of B&K Universal (http://www.bku.com/labanimals.html), and overseen by parent company and American-owned firm Marshall Bio Resources (www.marshallbio.com), a prominent business which “provides purpose bred research animals”, this decision was rejected in 2012, but now reintroduced and approved by Clark. In fact, a spokesperson has mentioned, “We very much welcome the sensible decision to grant planning permission for our breeding site… however, we are disappointed that it has taken so long for the right outcome to arrive. We applaud the secretary of state for not being distracted by misleading arguments of animal rights groups.”
It should be noted, that the director of B&K Universal, Ghislaine Rondot, as well as veterinarian Renzo Graziosi, and director of Marshall Bioresources Roberto Bravi, were convicted in January 2015 to up to 18 months of jail due to cases of animal cruelty and illegal killing of lab animals, after the closure of their Green Hill breeding facility in Italy, in 2012.
It is estimated that this smaller facility will be housing up to 200 beagles, and 180 puppies, and may also house ferrets. These animals will be bred solely for purposes of drug testing for substances like weed killers, pharmaceutical drugs and other industrial chemicals, as well as surgery pertaining to organ transplants and treatments for prostrate cancer.
Since its approval, it has seen mounting protests from PETA supporters and animal rights supporters, as well as celebrities Brian May, actor Peter Egan and comedian Ricky Gervais – all condemning the proposal and its approval.
Lead guitarist of Queen, Brian May, remarked, “I am sickened to hear that this facility is to go ahead, ignoring the views of the public and local authorities, and condemning these best friends of man to thousands of unethical and unnecessary tests… This is an appalling message for Britain to send out to the world.”
A petition has since been started, urging the reversal of this decision, which can be signed here (http://www.animaljusticeproject.com/urgentaction).
(Images and references: Animal Justice Project, Huffington Post, BBC.)