London, 25 March 2015
Green Hill facility in Montichiari (Italy) persecuted for breeding dogs for scientific research
Case re-opened without new evidence despite not-guilty verdict in 2013
Italian legislators threaten biomedical progress in Europe by backing animal rights groups in a politically-motivated campaign against Green Hill
In an appalling politically-motivated campaign, with collateral implications for the UK and the rest of Europe, an Italian judge announced yesterday the reasoning behind his verdict against Green Hill managers, found guilty of the mistreatment and killing of dogs in January 2015.
He cited standard procedures as tattoo-identification and selective administration of anaesthesia depending on the procedure as some of the reasons behind his judgement. He regarded 67 reports of the local regulatory authority Azienda Sanitaria Locale as ‘unreliable’ and criticised the low euthanasia figure of 44 dogs in 3 years according to the report of Dr. Moriconi, who is an honorary member of Lega AntiVivisezione, the animal right group behind this boycott.
“Green Hill is a licensed establishment as required by national and international law, which has received repeated positive evaluations since its conception. Discrediting dozens of vets’ reports from local authorities confirms the politically-motivated campaign Green Hill is enduring. This ridiculous judgement should be thrown out of court in the appeal,” says EARA Executive Director Kirk Leech.
In May 2013, the case against Green Hill was thrown out by a court in Brescia. Shortly afterwards, the same charges were brought again against the Green Hill management team. The charges were based on flawed technical data from previous reports. The public prosecutor based his verdict on the high incidence of canine mortality at Green Hill during a five-year period. However, internal investigations found that this figure represented total deaths including normal losses from natural causes such as disease and stillbirth, which would be expected at any breeding facility. The clear intention was to create the false impression that poor management was responsible for the deaths of all dogs at the facility.
The orchestrated campaign against Green Hill has involved many players. In Italy it received powerful backing from a number of politicians looking to make an impression at election time. In the UK, animal rights groups have sought to link the Green Hill case to their opposition to Bantin & Kingman Ltd (B&K) and their planning application for a beagle breeding facility in Yorkshire on premises that B&K shares the same parent company as Green Hill.
Scott Marshall, CEO Marshall BioResources, Green Hill Holding Company, said:
”This judgment is wrong because it is not based on the legislation concerning the protection of animals used for scientific purposes. We will appeal this injustice and seek to have a fair hearing based on laws governing the use of animals for scientific purposes.”
EARA calls on Italian citizens and authorities to resist siding with this reckless campaign against animal breeders and scientific research and to reaffirm their support for biomedical progress. The scientific community must step forward to defend scientific research if we are to continue pursue healthcare and medical development.