Protestors demand so-called beagle puppy ‘death camp’ is shut down
- Credit: FREE THE MBR BEAGLES
A group of animal welfare campaigners claim they will take permanent residence outside of a puppy breeding facility in Huntingdon until the ‘so-called death camp’ is closed.
On Friday, up to 100 protestors gathered outside the facility with passing drivers honking horns. Organisers said local people had dropped off water and food to show their support.
Dubbed Camp Beagle, it is claimed that 2,000 beagles are being reared at the MBR Acres site in Wyton, before being transported to laboratories at 16-weeks-old for medical research.
MBR Acres is owned by Marshall BioResources, a global provider of purpose-bred animals for biomedical research and related services. The company says it is "dedicated to maintaining high standards of animal welfare" and "greatly respects and appreciates" the role in which its animals play in the development of "life-saving discoveries".
However, activists say different; they say many of the animals are destined for a "cruel, painful and short life" of toxicology testing.
Protestor Paul Dawson, who is at the camp, told The Hunts Post: "In the few days we’ve been out there, all you can hear is barking and at various times, you hear them whelping and crying."
Mr Dawson also disputed claims that protestors had "abused staff" and added: "We stand outside and hold placards for passing vehicles."
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"I’m in a few animal rights groups, both locally and nationally. I’ve been involved in the anti-badger cull and fox-hunting protest groups. I became involved in this through a few people I know, various communities and groups I’m attached to, and it’s close to where I live so I wanted to get involved.
"I got involved, purely, because it’s a protest that’s close to me and helping the cause. People on the ground are an important part of any protest. It’s within our beliefs to support colleagues in any way we can.
"We’re talking about breeding beagle puppies, specifically to experiment on them and using them for toxicology testing and vivisection, when science has proven for many years that animal testing isn’t transferrable to human physiology and delays treatments, such as TB, polio, HIV and penicillin.
"In the few days we’ve been out there, all you can hear is barking – they never get let out – and at various times, you hear them whelping and crying.
"If you read the research, it goes back many years. It’s been known for many years, and to me, that’s why it’s totally unexplainable why this sort of thing still goes on.
"This is a total waste of time. To experiment on animals, kill them when they’re of no use and for the results to be totally non-transferrable to us, it’s unexplainable. That’s why we’re protesting. We want to end this. There are far more scientific ways of testing, such as stem cell research, so why aren’t they doing that?"
An organisation called Understanding Animal Research contacted The Hunts Post to say the idea that dogs were being kept in "squalid conditions was fanciful" and acknowledged it would be "hard for MBR to myth-bust all of the misconceptions activists believe in short news pieces".
"The people being abused as they enter the site are animal care staff who care deeply for the animals. The animals themselves are distressed particularly by the loud noises coming from the camp.
"This is a complex issue at the best of times but is only complicated by misinformation, to the extent that the ethics of experiments are turned on their head if you have bad information."
"Research animals are all specially bred. Scientists’ data will be thrown off if variables like stress or ill-health affect the animals so they’re bred to be in top condition. They also need to feel comfortable in a lab environment so that’s their normal. The MBR site is inspected regularly by the Home Office to ensure the following standards are met or exceeded."
The next demonstration is due to take place on Friday(July 9, from 8am till 4pm.