Will Young handcuffed himself on Tuesday at the front gate of a Cambridgeshire facility that allegedly breeds dogs for laboratory testing.
The musician joined animal rights protesters calling themselves “Camp Beagle“to campaign for the closure of MBR Acres in Wyton, near Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.
The Pop Idol winner, who has two dogs, held up a sign with “Cambridgeshire, famous for beagle torture thanks to MBR” outside the biomedical facility.
Activists have called for the dogs to be released and for beagles to stop being used in animal experiments.
After leaving the site, Young said on Twitter: “I spent today at the gate of MBR Acres in protest of their test on beagles.
“I wanted to raise awareness about animal testing and the fact that this is a puppy farm that breeds over 2,000 beagle puppies a year to be sent out for their inevitable torture and death.”
Comedian Ricky Gervais gave Young’s post a thumbs up and said, “Good man.”
Downton Abbey actor Peter Egan said he welcomed the protest, adding: “Respect for Will Young. Thank you for such an engaging objection to the atrocities taking place on MBR Acres.”
Young told ITV that he decided to travel to Huntingdon after hearing about the long-running campaign.
“I’m an animal lover and I just could not sit at home,” he said. “I did not realize until about six months ago that even facilities like this existed.”
He said he was ready to be arrested for his protest and said he handcuffed himself to what is known as “the gates of hell”.
I spent today at the gate of MBR Acres in protest of their test on beagles. I wanted to raise awareness about animal testing and the fact that this is a puppy farm that breeds over 2000 beagle puppies a year to be sent out for their inevitable torture and death. pic.twitter.com/npNM0jCk2p
– Will Young (@willyoung) November 16, 2021
“Why are they beagles?” he said. “This is heartbreaking – for beagles are the most forgiving dog breed.”
He said the dogs’ cries can sometimes be heard from the outside.
A spokesman for Marshall Bioresources, which operates MBR Acres, told the BBC it had an order from the High Court to prevent protesters from carrying out illegal activities at the site.
The company said it has “no interest in stifling legitimate protests, provided it is carried out legally and peacefully”.
“All protesters are currently barred by the court from accessing a designated area of exclusion in front of the gates to the sites to curb the illegal campaign of harassment, violation and criminal damage directed at our staff, contractors and visitors,” the spokesman added. .
“Our company will continue to manage and operate its activities in full compliance with the rules of the home office and with our normal high welfare standards.
“We remain proud of what we do every day because our work enables the advancement of medicine to save millions of human and animal lives.”