January 20, 2022 6.30 pm

Animal rights activists to protest at Humberside Airport over “cruel” beagle testing

“Their short lives will be filled with unimaginable suffering”

Animal rights campaigners will hold a peaceful demonstration at Humberside Airport over the transportation of young beagle dogs to be used in “painful animal testing” abroad.

A video, which has amassed more than 46,000 views, was posted on Facebook by ‘Free The MBR Beagles’ in December last year, which shows what they believe to be Beagle puppies being loaded onto a Bin Air cargo plane at Humberside Airport.

Protestors from Humane Being, who support ‘kind, planet, people friendly lifestyles’, will hold a demo at the airport from 10am on Sunday, January 23, which will also be attended by Humberside Police. They believe the puppies came from MBR Acres in Cambridgeshire, a facility where they say around 2,000 beagles are bred each year for sale in the research industry.

Free The MBR Beagles claim vans entered the Cambridgeshire site on November 24 to “collect yet more beagles in order to transport them to laboratories”. It added: “One of these vans was observed arriving at Humberside Airport, where the van drove onto the runway and was loaded onto a cargo plane owned by Bin Air. The flight was destined for Dublin airport, from which the MBR Beagles would be taken to their final destination.”

This comes after a permanent protest camp was established outside MBR Acres in June 2020 when secret footage of beagle puppies inside the site was published in national media.

The protest camp has even received the support of notable celebrities including singer Will Young, who handcuffed himself to the gates of MBR Acres, and comedian Ricky Gervais.

A spokesperson for the protest, Robert Gordon, said: “Thousands of beagle puppies are bred at MBR Acres each year to be used in painful animal testing. Their short lives will be filled with unimaginable suffering. As a nation of animal lovers, we cannot continue to let this happen.

“That is why we are taking a stand against MBR Acres and the companies who choose to support them. With this protest, we intend to send a clear message to Humberside Airport and Bin Air: you are complicit in this cruelty.”

Humberside Police said: “We are aware of a planned protest this Sunday, January 23 at Humberside Airport.

“We are engaging with all parties concerned and will be in attendance to allow people to go about their lawful business and to protect the right of individuals to take part and exercise their right to peaceful protest.”

The Lincolnite contacted Humberside Airport, Bin Air and MBRA Acres for statements of response, but there was no reply by the time of publication.

Free The MBR Beagles also posted footage in September 2021 which it claims “shows beagles locked in their cages in one of the dog sheds” (see the video below):

A spokeswoman for MBR previously said: “We adhere to rigorous legislation through the strictest inspection routines for the breeding of laboratory animals at our facilities. Animal welfare is always our top priority.

“The UK has the most demanding regulations in the world – placing greater requirements on those who propose using animals in medical research than any other territory and demanding the highest welfare standards.

“The overwhelming consensus of scientific opinion is that animals are needed in a small percentage of medical research projects and that results from testing in dogs, when combined with work in other species, provide data that best predict human responses to drugs.

“Governments internationally take note of this and legally demand the use of animals where science advises that it is necessary.

“This issue is revisited regularly because it is an important one, but it is worth remembering that we exist only because successive UK governments, including the current one, demand that all potential medicines are tested in animals before being given to humans and animals.”

Meanwhile, a petition to change the law to include laboratory animals in the Animal Welfare Act has already been signed by more than 110,000 people.