Will Young handcuffs himself to Cambridgeshire dog-breeding centre

  • Published
Will YoungImage source, Camp Beagle
Image caption,
Singer Will Young handcuffed himself to the facility in Cambridgeshire

Singer Will Young handcuffed himself to the front gates of a facility that breeds dogs for laboratory research.

He joined animal rights protesters from "Camp Beagle" campaigning for the closure of MBR Acres in Wyton, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

The 42-year-old said: "People are unaware there is still animal testing in this country and it is not needed."

The company, Marshall Bioresources, said the facility helped "save millions of human and animal lives".

Campaigners have demanded the release of the dogs and an end to the use of beagles in laboratory testing.

Image source, Nadia Gyane/BBC
Image caption,
Protesters from "Camp Beagle" demonstrated outside the Cambridgeshire facility

Young said he travelled to the demonstration "because I am a dog-lover, an animal-lover and a human-lover; I come with no hate and aggression".

He said: "I couldn't sit at home and not do nothing [to] bring attention to the plight of these animals."

The former Pop Idol winner said he would be "doing it anyway", regardless of his profile.

"All protests, all movements, need little boosts. As someone who has [fans and social media followers] I couldn't sit at home and just write another song or another book," he added.

He released himself from the handcuffs after he was spoken to by police, who he described as "brilliant".

Campaigners and actors Ricky Gervais and Peter Egan have previously called for the facility to close.

Image source, Nadia Gyane/BBC
Image caption,
Young said people were unaware of the facility

Cambridgeshire Police said: "Officers spoke to a man handcuffed to the gates and he has since released himself from the handcuffs and moved away from the entrance.

"Our response to the protests in Wyton has been impartial and proportionate, balancing the right to protest with the right of staff at the site to go about their lawful work.

"We are ensuring a safe environment for protesters to express their views peacefully and staff at the site to do their work, which is protected under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005."

Image caption,
Campaigners said the facility in Cambridgeshire was unnecessary

A statement from Marshall Bioresources said the High Court last week extended the injunction against protesters "committing unlawful activities" at the Wyton and Grimston sites.

It said the company had "no interest in stifling legitimate protest provided it is conducted lawfully and peacefully".

It added: "All protesters are now currently barred by the court from accessing a designated exclusion area in front of the gates to the sites to restrain the unlawful campaign of harassment, trespass and criminal damage directed against our staff, contractors, and visitors.

"Our business will continue to manage and run its operations in full compliance with Home Office regulations and with our normal high welfare standards.

"We remain proud of what we do every day because our work allows the progress of medicine to save millions of human and animal lives."

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