Harlan UK* own two beagle sites – one in Belton, Loughborough and the other at Wyton, Cambridgeshire. The former, known as Harlan-Hillcrest, houses ‘donor beagles’ i.e. they are kept solely for their blood which is drained from them weekly and supplied to vivisectors. The latter, known as Harlan Interfauna, breeds beagles for sale to laboratories and universities across the world.
Both sites are located far from public view; Hillcrest hidden in a secluded field, Interfauna along a country lane. Both sites are protected by barbed wire walls and security guards. The silence and stillness surrounding the sites is only broken by the barking and crying of beagles locked inside.
EXPOSED!“One of the trainers went into a pen and held down a dog with his knee. He was kicking the dog while he held it down to try to subdue it. Then he started punching it and then he held it up by the throat and said to it: ‘So are you going to stop?’” Former Harlan employee Russell Trigg
There have been several high-profile exposés of Harlan beagle breeding sites. In 1999, a BUAV undercover investigation at Hillcrest revealed gross neglect and horrifying ’living’ conditions. The most recent exposé ran in a 2011 edition of The Sunday Times. Inside the full-page feature, former Harlan Interfauna employee Russell Trigg revealed what life is really like for ‘man’s best friend’ at the Wyton site.
Trigg witnessed employees laughing as one of their colleagues shaved obscenities into beagles’ fur and scrawled further profanities on their faces in felt-tip pens. Trigg approached a senior member of staff to complain but was branded a ‘trouble maker’. He then telephoned a helpline in the USA, allegedly set up so that staff could report cruelty. The result? Nobody was sacked or even reprimanded. The authorities were not informed. Instead, the man seen kicking and punching a beagle was moved to another Harlan unit and promoted.
LIFE INSIDE HARLAN
More horrific findings reported to The Sunday Times by Russell Trigg:
- The smell and noise inside the cramped pens is overwhelming and sickening. Often, there are up to nine beagles locked inside one pen
- Cleaning the pens consists of beagles being removed by the scruff, two at a time, no support given to their legs or behinds, whilst employees hose the floor
- Infrequent cleaning means beagles are often left to sit, and even give birth, in their own faeces
- Pens have cold, concrete floors, scattered with a little sawdust, devoid of bedding or toys
- The only ‘exercise’ and escape from their pens the beagles receive is a 20-minutes-per-week run in a dark and dirty corridor. The majority of Harlan beagles will never ever see daylight or breathe fresh air
- So lacking in stimulus and cramped are the conditions, beagles become incredibly stressed. It is not uncommon for employees to arrive at pens in the morning to find dead or injured beagles, so rife are fights between frustrated and frightened dogs
- Beagles desperate for attention or escape often push their faces up against a pen’s wire sides so forcibly, their faces are cut open
- An injured beagle is ‘damaged goods’ and therefore not saleable. A ‘worthless’ beagle is promptly ‘culled’ – groups of them taken to the same room, waiting their turn to be given a lethal injection. Seeing another beagle manhandled and killed causes others to become highly distressed and scream out. Once dead, beagles are tossed in dustbin bags
- Donor or breeding beagles live inside Harlan ALL their lives i.e. until they are no longer earning the company a profit. Constant draining of blood or giving birth ravages these dogs and they are noted for their tired, painful limbs and inability to walk properly due to severe lack of exercise and access to fresh air and sunlight
- Donor dogs are broken dogs. Trigg recounted seeing these aged beagles in total despair; heads bowed, front legs permanently shaven, punctured and bruised thanks to weekly blood ‘donation’ conducted by careless and under-trained technicians
- Before being sold, Harlan beagles have razor blades regularly pressed into their skin to acclimatise them for their brief life, and painful death, in laboratories.
Harlan beagles are sold for thousands of pounds to vivisectors. If the drugs and chemicals forced upon the beagles doesn’t kill them, once the experiments are concluded, they are euthanized.
Contrary to popular belief, beagle dogs are not solely used to test medicines. they are also made to endure experiments involving everything from chemicals to garden pesticides.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Click here to subscribe to our email mailing list to support our campaign and help us put an end to the unnecessary suffering of these sentient beings.
Images courtesy of BUAV© (taken inside Harlan-Hillcrest, 1999)
*Harlan also own a site in Blackthorn (Oxfordshire) where they breed ‘made to order’ small animals (e.g. rodents) inside isolators. In addition to the breeding arm of their business, Harlan run a ‘contract research service’ in Shardlow (Derbyshire) which tests chemicals, agrochemicals, biocidal products and pharmaceuticals on species such as rabbits, guinea pigs and mice.