Ricky Gervais, a long-time animal activist, has worked with the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) on past campaigns. He has helped them fight the international trade of monkeys used for research, and now he’s joined in another of their campaigns against vivisection.
According to the Yorkshire Post, after one of his Twitter followers told Gervais about the campaign, he wanted to join in and help the BUAV. The organization is working to stop Bantin & Kingman Universal Ltd. from building a large farm to breed beagles for experimentation. He said “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.”
Gervais isn’t the only one upset about the plans for the large-scale breeding facility. Over 28,000 people have signed the BUAV’s petition which they submitted to the Planning Inspectorate and the Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles. While B&K Universal claims the breeding operation “will improve the conditions for the animals, improve the conditions for people who work in the company and create employment opportunities,” the BUAV says “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.”
B&K was originally denied permission for their plans, and have since appealed. Pickles is expected to make his decision in early January, just a few weeks away. BUAV 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.”