the Harlan Beagles campaign demonstrate in Brighton
might not be at the forefront of activism these days, but that doesn't mean
any fewer animals are being squirted, prodded, injected, creamed, caged
or otherwise tortured - or that some humans aren't still kickin' up a fuss
the Harlan Beagles campaign held a demonstration on Saturday (9th) in Brighton.
The campaign targets Harlan Laboratories, a set-up sinister to the core:
Harlan is one of the world's leading suppliers of animals to labs for the
purpose of animal testing. The UK branch has a diversity of inmates including
marmosets, beagles, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, rats, mice, gerbils, and
hamsters. Also available are hybrid, mutant, and transgenic animals. A quick
google demonstrates the crazy world of lab-animal mutants – Harlan's
online catalogue has more modified mice ('research models') than you can
shake a stick at. Take the poor wee sod that is the 'athymic nude' –
these bald fellas were 'derived from a nucleus colony from the National
Institutes of Health' and is referred to as an 'immunodeficient model'.
Sounds like a recipe for a long, healthy and natural life.
brochure proudly boasts it supplies more stocks and strains of lab animals
than any other commercial supplier in the world. The company has been quoted
as saying it provides humane care to the 'research models'. Yet (not so
surprisingly) investigations have found that, apart from the animal testing
itself, the welfare of its death row prisoners translates to 20 luxurious
minutes out of their cage per week and brutal manhandling techniques. An
ex-employee of Harlan told mainstream media during an interview the unwritten
company policy was to separate dogs “by kicking and punching them”.
Brighton, the 500-600 protesters gathered to demand the end of the use of
beagles in vivisection in particular. Protesters began to assemble at 12
noon by Victoria Fountain, at the Old Steine Gardens, listening to speeches.
A silent march began at 1.30pm, with the mourners marching through the streets
of Brighton behind a coffin, accompanied by a dozen or so community liaison
officers and team of motorbike cops. After a loop around the city centre
the march came to an end at about 4pm. Protesters had travelled down from
different parts of the UK as well as some mourners from across the channel,
with 100 envoys from Belgium, Italy and France. Non-human participants included
about 30 dogs, mostly beagles. The message was simple: 'CLOSE DOWN HARLAN',
and stop testing on dogs.
usefulness of testing on animals has been scientifically debunked time and
time again. On the beagle front, bad-ass vet and animal rights activist
Andre Menache has written an article which, in essence, asks readers to
consider “Why on earth are Beagle dogs being used to see what pharmaceutical
drugs do to people?”. Menache points out that it's like using a parrot
to test drugs for horses – so why does it continue?
it stands pharmaceutical drugs have to be tested on rodents (normally rats)
and also non-rodents (usually beagles) before trials begin on the species
the drugs are actually meant for. And as Menache writes, 'science has moved
forward by 65 years since those early laws were written, but the laws have
not yet caught up with the science'. Animal testing is not only cruel, unnecessary
and evil but also unreliable - hence pretty pointless. There are alternatives
such as human cell studies which even to a layman sound more sensible.
is an injunction in place to stop demonstrations at Harlan Laboratories,
which in the UK are in Blackthorn, Hillcrest, Shardlow and Wyton. Save the
Harlan Beagles campaign will not be holding any demonstrations at these
sites in the immediate future, due to the injunction, and on their website
has requested supporters to refrain from breaching this injunction in any
that doesn't mean they're sitting back quietly. One demonstrator at the
demo told us, 'There was quite a good turnout. We need to raise awareness
in the public about what is happening in Harlan – the beagles are
bred for torture and death.' On the future of the campaign, they said the
plan was to 'target the shareholders'.
Watch this space...
Check their website
World Day for Lab Animals
in on 27th April in Oxford. Save the Harlan Beagles campaign will have a
stall there along with other animal rights campaigns.