Ricky Gervais urges Eric Pickles to block beagle farm

Ricky Gervais Ricky Gervais has spoken out against proposals to build a dog breeding farm in East Yorkshire

Comedian Ricky Gervais has spoken out against proposals to build a dog breeding farm in East Yorkshire, which would supply beagles for scientific research.

The star of The Office and Extras is supporting a campaign by the anti-vivisection group, BUAV, which is trying to prevent the expansion of a centre in the village of Grimston.

Plans to extend the site owned by B&K Universal were originally rejected by East Riding of Yorkshire Council in June.

The company has appealed against the planning verdict, and the matter now rests with the Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, with a decision due in the next few weeks.

Online petition

In a statement released by the BUAV, Ricky Gervais 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.

Beagle An online petition has attracted more than 28,000 signatures

"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."

An online petition against the proposals has attracted more than 28,000 signatures.

The BUAV chief executive, Michelle Thew, said: "We are delighted to receive the support of Ricky Gervais on this important issue."

She added: "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."

Medical research

B&K Universal has not commented directly on the latest proposals to build a dog breeding facility, but on the company's website it states:

Start Quote

I am disgusted to learn of these plans to breed beagles for experiments.”

End Quote Ricky Gervais

"B&K Universal strongly believes in the promotion of environmental enrichment for the well-being of laboratory animals and will always continue to set standards of best practice in the pursuit of this objective."

The use of dogs in medical research remains controversial.

According to government figures, in 2005 more than 7,400 beagles were used in experiments - less than half of 1% of the total number of animals used in scientific procedures.

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  • rate this

    Comment number 19.

    RE. 18 davecheale. If you think that there in vitro testing can ever be a complete replacement for in vivo you are wrong. I won't explain why because to someone with a science background it is completely obvious.
    My suggestion is that you learn basic biology and then correct your post.

  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    another 140 million pumped into the research world last month, a billion last year, with promises of life saving drugs, the pro vivisectors will lie to protect their profits, playing with people fears, your time is over, the time is now here to move onto methods that are 50% more accurate, no more animals/humans have to suffer through adverse drug reactions or wasted costs to the NHS £1 BILLION

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    Should new surgical techniques be tried out on sick children or on dogs? Back in the 80s I did many tests on dogs (and pigs) that had been given liver and kidney transplants to make these procedures safer for humans. I'm proud to say hundreds of human lives have since been saved using the techniques and drugs developed then. There is a place for properly controlled humane animal experimentation.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    It is deemed acceptable by most that breeding animals for food is fine. Let's, for arguments sake, say that 1 cow would keep one man alive for 1 week. Let's now consider the life of an animal used in medical testing. One animal may contribute to developement of a drug to keep hundreds of people alive for many years. There are double standards by most in terms of eating meat and medical testing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    "Safety" testing is undertaken, as is medical research. Both are questionable, but cetainly make a lot of money. You do, of course, have to be aware of the source of your information. Even if testing worked, it does not mean it is acceptable to torture and murder others. No suffering is obviously nonsense - and the law is to minimise.

    "Open your eyes - DON'T believe the lies."

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    Re: 12.Hull-dude

    I am no expert on the matter, I got the information from here, looked to be a pro vivisection site rather than an animal rights one.


  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    well done Ricky for highlighting this deplorable plan to breed dogs for research, let those that want this put themselves and their families forward for the benefit of science..

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    Re 11

    Albert you are simply wrong , if you can show me evidence of animal testing for cleaning products , air freshners ect in this country I will make it my personal duty report them to the government because I know it is not true .
    Animal testing is only used on essential development of drugs which would provide a new level of treatment That is not currently available in the Medical market.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Testing drugs is one thing and hard to argue against given the argument of "what if it was to cure your kids / wife etc?"
    It isnt just drugs it's anything at all that has to do with people:
    so, Household products (cleaning stuff, air freshners etc) , Industrial chemicals, paints, solvents, colourings, dyes, food stuffs etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    Number 8 schoolies you are simply wrong. I don't know where you get your information but its incorrect. If you think for one second you can generate a tenth of cell reactions and interferences you are wrong. And alot of the enzymes can't be made anyway, they have to be extracted from animal livers ect.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    There is a very simple choice. All drugs must be tested on animals to determine if they are safe for humans to take. Anyone who says otherwise has no understanding of pharmacology.

    So, animal testing or never have any more drugs released?
    What would you prefer? I'm going with the anti cancer drugs

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    If, to save a human life, the only way was dog experimantation I would have to accept that. I am pretty convinced this is not the case though.

    UK people are dog lovers. If they saw what was going on in vivisectionist establishments , they would, I think, riot and tear the places down!

    There are alternative, cell generation, techniques for testing, no more animal experimentation, full stop!

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    re 3.Hull-dude
    Dont understand the "ranting reference" there is only you doing any.
    The ban on cosmetic testing is a little misleading, for example sun tan cream and a fair few other "personal products" are not classed as cosmetics and are tested on animals in the UK.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Think logically guys and find out the facts before ranting on, rather than the fiction.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    I have studied the facts before making my mind up on this subject and reading alot of reports the only people whom should be stopped is the majority of those protesting against the plans and the acts of animal cruelty they have themselves commited in the past .
    "oh sorry i forgot you where only trying to save them "
    (that makes it ok does it?)

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Animals used in medical research is vital for the protection of the human race , it is illegal for any animals to suffer in any form and the UK has some of the tightest rules in the world . If the plans are not accepted the research will still go on but in another part of the world with less/no regulations and for one I wouldnt like to see that happen .

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    This is where alot of people dont understand the usage of animals for medical research.
    Cosmetic research has been banned in the UK for years and I agree the usage of animals for cosmetic trials would be discusting if it acualy went on !!!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    The only way to stop this abuse is to determine who the customers are and then stop purchasing their goods. They will either bankrupt themselves or stop selling products using animals for testing. No one gets arrested for using 'threating behaviour' and the animals are saved, eventually. We need to find out who the customers are, then start a campaign to encourage people to boycott them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Whilst in the recent past some animal activists have by their behaviour damaged the antivivisection movement. Torturing animals is not what we should as a species be doing and most certainly not just to test cosmetics and smoking materials.



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