OPEN LETTER CALLS FOR GOVERNMENT U-TURN ON LABORATORY BEAGLE BREEDING CENTRE
FRAME and the Kennel Club have sent an open letter to Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government The Rt Hon Greg Clark, MP calling on him and the Government to reverse their decision to grant planning permission for a laboratory beagle breeding centre in East Yorkshire.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council rejected the planning application from B&K Universal in 2013 after thousands of campaigners signed a petition objecting to the proposal, but the decision was overturned by the Secretary of State after an appeal by estate managers Yorkshire Evergreen on behalf of B&K.
FRAME (Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments) was founded in 1969 to enable and support the timely development and use of scientifically valid methods which provide reliable data and replace the need for animal experiments.
The Kennel Club is the UK’s largest organisation dedicated to the welfare of dogs and campaigns on a range of dog welfare issues, including the use of dogs in animal testing. It offers owners and breeders information and advice on dog health, training, activities and breeding.
Text of the letter is below.
An open letter to The Rt Hon Greg Clark, MP, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government from FRAME and the Kennel Club
We are surprised and very disappointed that the government has chosen to overturn the decision of East Riding of Yorkshire Council and to grant planning permission to B&K Universal site, at Grimston near Aldbrough, for breeding dogs intended for research use. The key question that needs to be asked and addressed satisfactorily by the government is: why is breeding of dogs on this site considered necessary and in the national interest?
It is conceivable that one objective is to help support biomedical research on dogs that currently is considered necessary to develop safe new medicines (to treat human (or animal) diseases not adequately treated by currently available medicines). If so, this should be explained.
A perceived need to undertake critical scientific research on dogs in the short term must, in turn, focus the attention of the government, the scientific funding agencies and the scientific community on prioritising work on alternative approaches. There are methods that could be more effective than studies on dogs, and could replace use of these animals in the medium and longer term. Many promising non-animal technologies use human tissues and so may be more relevant to human diseases than animal procedures. In fact, very substantial progress has already been made and UK scientists have been taking a leading role internationally in this area. They need more support.
One direct beneficiary of effective new non-animal methods will be UK and international pharmaceutical companies. Currently these struggle to bring forward safe new medicines using conventional approaches, which include use of animal procedures. The other major direct beneficiary will be the UK public. Right now, they can be exposed to medicines that may cause severe unwanted side-effects not predicted by the safety studies undertaken in dogs and other animals.
If animals bred at the site will not be used to help develop new medicines, then any possible justification becomes even more difficult to understand and support. Animal procedures cannot now be undertaken in the UK and Europe when assessing the human safety of cosmetics. A similar ban on safety testing household products on animals is scheduled for introduction in the UK in October. Instead, a variety of scientifically valid, non-animal approaches have been developed and are being used. Work on non-animal approaches that can replace the need for human safety testing of other chemicals is also now being undertaken, is well advanced and needs to be prioritised more highly. Continued use of animal procedures for chemical safety testing needs to be discouraged and replaced, not made easier.
Therefore we ask that the government reconsider its decision and instead focus its support on scientifically valid methods that can replace animal procedures.
FRAME (Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments)
The Kennel Club
NOTES TO EDITORS
FRAME (Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments) was founded in 1969 to promote the concept of alternatives to the use of laboratory animals in medical research and toxicity testing.
FRAME’s vision is a world where non-animal methods are accepted as scientific best practice. Until then, FRAME’s mission is to enable and support the timely development and use of scientifically valid methods that provide reliable data and replace the need for animal experiments.
www.frame.org.uk @frame_campaigns @frame_science
The Kennel Club
The Kennel Club is the largest organisation in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training. Its objective is to ensure that dogs live healthy, happy lives with responsible owners.
It runs the country’s largest registration database for both pedigree and crossbreed dogs and the Petlog database, which is the UK’s biggest reunification service for microchipped animals. The Kennel Club is accredited by UKAS to certify members of its Assured Breeder Scheme, which is the only scheme in the UK that monitors breeders in order to protect the welfare of puppies and breeding bitches. It also runs the UK’s largest dog training programme, the Good Citizen Dog Training Scheme and licenses shows and clubs across a wide range of activities, which help dog owners to bond and enjoy life with their dogs. The Kennel Club runs the world’s greatest dog show, Crufts, and the Eukanuba Discover Dogs event at ExCeL London, which is a fun family day out that educates people about how to buy responsibly and care for their dog.
The Kennel Club invests in welfare campaigns, dog training and education programmes and the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which supports research into dog diseases and dog welfare charities, including Kennel Club Breed Rescue organisations that re-home dogs throughout the UK. The Kennel Club jointly runs health screening schemes with the British Veterinary Association and through the Charitable Trust, funds the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust, which is at the forefront of pioneering research into dog health. The Kennel Club Cancer Centre at the Animal Health Trust contributes to the AHT’s well-established cancer research programme, helping to further improve dog health.
Anne Jeffery (Communications organiser)
96-98 North Sherwood Street
0115 958 4740
FRAME is the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments.
It promotes the replacement of laboratory animals with non-animal methods, through better science.
Its ultimate aim is the elimination of the need to use laboratory animals in any kind of scientific or medical procedures.