International comedian Ricky Gervais has spoken out in support of the BUAV’s campaign to stop plans for a dog breeding farm which would supply beagles for experiments. Ricky told the BUAV: “I am disgusted to learn of these plans to breed beagles for experiments. It is unacceptable that these gentle and trusting dogs should be treated as commodities. If B&K’s plans go ahead, thousands of dogs will be born to spend the rest of their short lives in a laboratory cage, where they will suffer in cruel experiments. I fully support the BUAV’s efforts in trying to stop this facility from going ahead.” The plans outline a farm based in Grimston, Yorkshire, which would breed thousands of beagles to supply laboratories with test subjects for painful and invasive experiments. Following the BUAV’s campaign, these plans were at first rejected by the local planning authorities in June (1). The applicant, Bantin & Kingman Ltd. (B&K), one of the UK’s largest suppliers of animals to laboratories, appealed the decision which will now be decided by the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles. Members of the public have been shocked by the plans – in just a short period, the BUAV collected 28,000 signatures on a petition submitted to The Planning Inspectorate which has been re-submitted to the Communities Secretary to illustrate the strength of public feeling on the issue. The BUAV’s Chief Executive, Michelle Thew said: “We are delighted to receive the support of Ricky Gervais on this important issue. The use of dogs in research is a subject that raises strong public concern. There are a range of modern, humane, non-animal research techniques available to scientists which should be used instead of inflicting suffering on dogs and other animals in laboratories.” The Communities Secretary is expected to make a decision on the breeding farm within the next few weeks. The BUAV is urging people to express their concerns in writing to Eric Pickles.