On Sunday (August 1) hundreds of ‘Free the MBR Beagles’ protesters gathered for what was termed a ‘memorial vigil’ for puppies bred by Marshall BioRescources (MBR) after leaving their MBR Acres site in Wyton, on the outskirts of Huntingdon.
A minute’s silence was held before protesters held rallies and made their feelings known to workers inside of the site trying to leave.
Police officers from across Cambridgeshire were drafted in to help staff inside to make their way out. Two protesters were arrested at the scene.
A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Police said: “The protest on Sunday (August 1) at MBR Acres Ltd in Sawtry, Huntingdon, involved approximately 150 protestors who aimed to prevent staff at the facility from leaving the site.
“Officers attended and provided a proportionate policing response, balancing the needs and rights of protestors with those impacted by the protests.
“Two people were arrested at the scene. A 37-year-old man from Huntingdon was arrested on suspicion of threatening behaviour, intimidation and harassment.
“He has been released on conditional bail until 29 August.
“A 39-year-old woman from Huntingdon was arrested for obstructing the highway but has been released and will face no further action.”
One of the leaders of the Free the MBR Beagles movement, Mel Brown, praised the passion of those at the protest.
He added: “The demonstration was very passionate and it is an issue that gets a lot of people worked up.
“We have been clear from the outset that we want to secure the safety of these beagles and that we are ready to see it through and we clearly have a broad base of support.
“We want to stop the cruel dog research industry and have got an increasing number of scientists joining us; disputing how effective dogs are for testing the effects new medicines will have on humans.
“This is something that in the 21st century just has to stop. Beagles are chosen for their small size and placid nature.
“There has been a breeding site for more than five decades and because of it, hundreds of thousands of dogs have suffered, that’s why we held a memorial day and a minute’s silence.
“It was a successful day and we are getting stronger. We are determined that this kind of research has to stop and are urging MBR to do the right thing.”
MBR state that they “want to be the premier source of animal models for preclinical research and development of human medicines, vaccines and other therapies.”
The site is used to breed beagles until they are old enough to be able to be sent away to be used for medical research and has attracted a number of protests over the last year.
Protests have increased over the course of the last month, however, since Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty released footage from inside the site showing the dogs in crates, as well as footage where the dogs could be heard crying.
Following this, ‘Camp Beagle’ was set up outside of the site’s gates four weeks ago and there has been a permanent presence on the site ever since.
Protesters say that Tuesday (August 3) marks one month to the day since the last dog left the site and that their presence has saved the lives of an estimated 250 puppies from a cruel and needless death in a toxicology lab.