£46,000 for one day's policing at Camp Beagle
- Credit: Camp Beagle
Policing just one operation at an animal rights protest in Cambridgeshire cost over £46,000.
The figure for August 10 – when up to 100 officers were deployed to allow MBR Acres at Wyton to move beagles used in experimental science – came to £46,214.
The amount was revealed in a Freedom of Information request by a supporter of Camp Beagle who are maintaining a vigil outside the site.
The woman who received the response told the Camp Beagle Facebook group she was “utterly sickened” by the police presence and the cost.
Another said she had complained to police and crime commissioner Darryl Preston and wanted to know why MBR Acres was not paying the policing bills.
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“I’m still waiting for a response," she said.
Cambridgeshire Police has always insisted their response to the protests “has been impartial and proportionate, balancing the right to protest with the right of staff at the site to go about their lawful work.
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“We are ensuring a safe environment for protestors to express their views peacefully and staff at the site to do their work, which is protected under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005.”
Police are regularly outside the MBR Acres site where campaigners from across the country have set up #Camp Beagle to protest at beagle puppies being bred for research.
Last month the opening salvos were fired in the High Court as MBR Acres tries to remove the camp through an injunction.
Camp Beagle raised £2,500 for legal representation. The final outcome of that application is awaited.
MBR says they are “a specialist breeder of animals that are raised to be healthy, content and comfortable in a lab environment”.
It says it does not undertake regulatory toxicology or other experiments and has only animal care staff working on its sites.
The company insists that “expert opinion on why animals are needed in research should be sought from the medicines regulator and scientists or organisations working in this field.
"These experiments form a small but crucial part of a wide range of applications from ecology work to investigations into human and animal diseases”.
And they maintain these include those “that led directly to the vaccines and treatments for Covid-19, cancer drugs, pet medicines and products labelled as safe for pets”.