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WorlDog > 1000+ Italian Activists Liberate Beagles
Thousands of protestors marched Saturday in Northern Italy on the company Green Hill in Montichiari, Brescia, asking for “the immediate release” of all 2,500 dogs locked up in the facility. The occasion was ‘World day for animals in laboratories’, but Green Hill has been on animal advocates’ radar for some time. Facebook group The Committee Against Green Hill was instrumental in planning the raid.
The protestors swarmed the lanes leading to Green Hill carrying signs that said “Occupy Green Hill” and urging officials to remember their political commitments. Governor Formigoni had guaranteed to close Green Hill in a few weeks which would effectively deal a blow to vivisection. The procession started from the parking lot of PalaGeorge, and cut across fields and lanes to circumnavigate the teams of riot police deployed on the main road. Protestors arrived at the fences surrounding the facility and twenty three of them scaled the barbed wire barricade to enter the compound. Of these, thirteen made it inside the buildings where they opened cages and took beagle puppies and pregnant female dogs. The animals were handed over the fence to protestors waiting on the other side amid cheers and applause. Thirty beagles in all were rescued. Although 8 or 9 of them were seized by police, they will not be returned to Green Hill.
Green Hill is a breeding facility for beagles which are shipped to vivisection labs. From this single farm, 250 dogs each month are sent to labs where they are cut open and tortured on operating tables for the purpose of experimentation or scientific research. Some of Green Hill’s clients are university laboratories, pharmaceutical companies and renowned trial centers such as Huntingdon Life Sciences in England, the largest laboratory torturing animals in Europe.
Animal advocates have called Green Hill a death factory. There has been a greater demand for dogs from Green Hill since the collapse of the Morini Stefano di San Polo d’Enza, another Italian breeder of laboratory beagles.
Green Hill is reported to have five buildings where 2500 adult dogs and several litters are housed. They are kept in small closed cages without natural light or air. Dogs grow in rows and rows of cages before being shipped to a new hell in laboratories.
The company profiting from the pain of these animals is Marshall Bio Resources, an American firm located in North Rose, New York. Marshall’s dogs are shipped all over the world, but since the company’s purchase of Green Hill as its European headquarters and the construction of a huge farm in China, Marshall is attempting to monopolize the market. The company has plans to expand Green Hill to breed and house double the number of dogs they do now. Marshall Farms also offers devocalization of dogs purchased from their facilities. In addition to Beagles, Marshall Bio Resources breeds ferrets, minipigs, and mongrels.
Police arrested 13 demonstrators during Saturday’s raid, charging them with theft. The prisoners were transferred from the local Montichiari police station to Desenzano. Several of them were hurt during the arrests. One, a minor, was released.
Animal advocates have been calling for the abolition of vivisection for years, saying technology has made the barbaric practice unnecessary. Please sign the petition to close Green Hill on change.org, and the petition to stop Marshall Farms Worldwide breeding for vivisection on the petition site.
About the author: Ariel Wulff is an author, artist and animal advocate. She has worked in animal rescue for more than 24 years, authoring the book Born Without a Tail, a memoir of her experiences with rescued animals. She writes a column as the Cleveland Pets Examiner, and is the National Animal Books Examiner. She also maintains a personal blog about dogs: Up on the Woof, and uses her yelodoggie art to spread the joy of living with dogs. Find out more about Wulff on her website yelodoggie.com.[PetPardons]