25th February 2016
Italian court confirms prison sentences for cruelty to dogs
Yorkshire Beagles former executive given 1.5 years suspended sentence
An Italian court has confirmed prison sentences for three Italian executives convicted of animal cruelty at beagle-breeding company Green Hill in Brescia. Green Hill is owned by Marshall BioResources. Marshall BioResources also owns B&K Universal, the company which breeds beagles for animal experiments in Grimston, East Yorkshire.
Green Hill was closed down by Italian authorities in 2012 after serious animal welfare violations were discovered. Over 3,000 dogs and puppies were released from Green Hill’s laboratories in Brescia to be homed. Ghislane Rondot, Director of Green Hill, and Renzo Graziosi, a veterinarian, were both sentenced to 1 year and 6 months in jail. Roberto Bravi, Executive Manager, was sentenced to 1 year and compensation expenses. Rondot was until recently also a Director at B&K Universal.
The convictions followed two years of protests across Italy and strong campaigning by Lega Anti Vivisezione (LAV), a partner organisation of Cruelty Free International. LAV filed the original complaint against Green Hill for animal cruelty in 2012. In November last year Cruelty Free International was given permission to bring a judicial review against the Home Office for allowing B&K to run a beagle breeding facility without outdoor spaces for the dogs. Outdoor access is mandatory under European law.
Michelle Thew, Chief Executive of Cruelty Free International, said: “This landmark case has revealed the shocking and hidden animal suffering that takes place within the beagle breeding industry; an industry based on profit where animals are treated as disposable products. We believe the Home Office should have intervened to stop a company, whose then senior executive was sentenced to serve time in prison for systemic animal cruelty, from breeding beagles in Britain.”
Photo credit: Mark Kehoe