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  • Animal Rebellion

Cambridgeshire Police Trigger Public Outcry by Returning Rescued Beagle Puppies to Animal Testing

Updated: Jun 3

(Photo taken from the protest outside Cambridgeshire Constabulary HQ on 22/12/22)

  • Despite a huge outpouring of support from thousands of people, including celebrities Peter Egan and Will Young, 2 beagle puppies held by Cambridgeshire police since Tuesday 20th December have been returned to the animal testing breeding centre, MBR Acres, from which they were recently rescued, police confirmed [1].

  • Animal Rebellion successfully helped 18 beagle puppies to freedom before handing themselves in to the police but two others were intercepted [2].

  • An open letter calling for the release of the two puppies has been signed by over 50 celebrities, NGOs, and professionals, including broadcaster Eamonn Holmes OBE, actor Peter Egan, and singer Will Young. Whilst a petition calling for the same thing has been signed by more than 29,000 people [3].

  • A qualified vet, Dr Alice Brough, has stated that the video footage taken during the rescue and earlier this year shows the MBR Acres facility could be in breach of a number of regulations.

2 Beagle puppies, affectionately named ‘Love’ and ‘Libby’, have been returned to MBR Acres by Cambridgeshire police after they were seized on Tuesday morning as Animal Rebellion rescued a further 18 dogs from the facility. This has caused mass outrage amongst celebrities and the public alike as it is widely believed the dogs will be euthanised or sent for painful testing and an early death.

Actor Peter Egan, star of Downton Abbey and After Life, said:
“Love and Libby represent the hope of all the beagles bred for lab experiments at MBR Acres. The hope is that they may, with a degree of compassion from MBR, be allowed a life free from pain and death. We ask them to show some humility and mercy: give them life, set them free to be homed with a loving family.”
Singer Will Young also expressed his anger:
“‘I am appalled, shocked, and disgusted by MBR Acres’ decision to ask for 2 of their beagle puppies back. I even offered to drive up and take them into my home. Love and Libby will most likely be put down due to contamination or put down after being taken back in to be tortured through testing.
They were shown freedom and love and now are taken back into the hell hole that is allowed to operate under Home Office regulations. MBR have of course shown their true colours and I will not rest until breeding puppy farms like this are disallowed in this country”

Cambridgeshire Police’s non-urgent telephone switchboard had reportedly been jammed with thousands of calls since Tuesday morning, when the puppies were taken. A demonstration of 60+ people blocked roads into and out of the police HQ on Thursday as they sought to negotiate the safe handing over of the puppies [4]. New homes for both Love and Libby had been arranged.

(Photo taken from the protest outside Cambridgeshire Constabulary HQ on 22/12/22)

Love and Libby were seized after 12 individuals gained access to MBR Acres on Tuesday morning, with the intention of freeing animals before handing themselves in ‘to put animal testing on trial.

During the rescue, 18 beagle puppies were helped to freedom in the largest ever open animal rescue in the UK, but two more, Love and Libby didn’t make it. A video taken outside the front gates showed the 2 puppies wagging their tails in the back of a police car [5].

A qualified vet for Animal Rebellion, Dr Alice Brough, has stated that the video footage taken during the rescue appears to show the MBR Acres facility could be in breach of a number of regulations.

The police statement read: “The Home Office and its Animals in Science Regulation Unit (ASRU), which administers and enforces the 1986 Act, supported the return of the dogs for their wellbeing. It was based on this that they were returned.”

Dr Alice Brough, Director of the Progressive Veterinary Association said:
“The fact that the police are citing the dogs’ wellbeing as a reason to return them to a facility appearing to be in breach of welfare regulations, and knowing the unimaginable pain and suffering they will face in a laboratory, is frankly horrifying. Police have the right to remove animals in distress and apply for re-homing, and they chose not to. Of course the Home Office supported their return. They don’t see anything wrong with needlessly torturing animals by the thousands, and grant licences to that effect.”


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