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Protest on Saturday at Manawatu dog testing lab

Protest on Saturday at Manawatu dog testing laboratory

Animal rights activists will protest outside a Manawatu laboratory where beagle dogs are used in experiments this Saturday at noon.

The Bainesse Boarding Kennels at 181 State Highway 56 (between Himatangi and Palmerston North), are owned by the Valley Animal Research Centre, and there is a two story laboratory building on the site where beagle puppies are used in experiments.

Save The Beagles Campaign spokesperson Mark Eden says the protest is the latest in a series aimed at shutting the business down.

"This is a new company that operates as a commercial animal testing facility. They will test anything for anyone as long as there is money to be made. We are particularly concerned that the government allows this business to operate with no public scrutiny or independent oversight. They can do what ever they like to animals inside the lab and the government approves it all.

The so-called ethics committee that oversees experiments in the lab is made up of VARC employees and anonymous members that meet in secret. Why should we have any faith in the system at all.

Since the government is incapable of protecting animals from experiments we will use public pressure to close the business down ourselves".

Valley Animal Research Centre (VARC), owned by Allen Goldenthal, breeds beagles for use in experiments on behalf of commercial chemical and drug companies. VARC has kennels in Hastings and Manawatu, and is the only company in New Zealand using beagles in experiments.

Allen Goldenthal has had a long career testing toxic substances on animals for many overseas chemical companies and has now set up New Zealand 's first animal research company using beagles in experiments.
With a breeding programme providing hundreds of beagles to choose from, and sites in both the Manawatu and Hawkes Bay , Valley Animal Research Centre is establishing itself as a significant player in the vivisection industry.
VARC is a contract research business, carrying out chemical toxicity testing for international and local drug companies.

In 2006, over 300,000 animals were used in experiments by universities, pesticide and chemical manufacturers and government research institutes. Approximately 4,800 animals were subjected to 'severe suffering' and 11,489 to 'very severe suffering'.

Experiments were carried out on cats, dogs, guinea pigs, horses, mice, rats and more. Experiments involve mutilation, genetic modification, live dissection and deliberate infection with painful diseases.

For further information, visit www.savethebeagles.wordpress.com


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