Owners of Green Hill & B&K Universal
B&K bosses stand trial for animal cruelty and the unlawful killing of dogs...
An announcement was made by the newly-formed group, Fermare Green Hill (Fermaregreenhill.net), against Green Hill - a beagle breeding farm in Brescia, Italy, owned by the multinational company, Marshall BioResources. The same company that owns the notorious B&K Universal in Yorkshire, UK. The same group of activists successfully ran a campaign to close a beagle and guinea pig breeding farm in 2010.
The first demonstration was held in Montichiari, Italy, with the objective to blocking the planned expansion of Green Hill which could include the construction of five large breeding sheds to allow the holding of around 5,000 at the facility. 3,000 determined people marched through the town, capturing local and national media attention.
1,000 people protested outside Green Hill. Some could hear the howls of the dogs inside. The ‘Committee Against Green Hill’ was born: a committee of local residents working alongside the campaign. These local residents collected 230,000 signatures calling for the closure of Green Hill which were presented to the Senate where the European Directive on Animal Experimentation is discussed.
A protest was carried out at the Lombardy Regional Health Authority - an authority that inspects breeding farms - to remind the authority about the legislation restricting breeding farms to no more than 150 dogs.
A national march against Green Hill was organised in Rome, Italy. A staggering 10,000 people marched from Piazza della Repubblica to Piazza del Popolo. It is the largest ever recorded protest against vivisection in Italian history.
The town Montichiari, Italy, was taken over by protestors carrying torches and candles 'to symbolise the light they bring to the animals closed inside Green Hill'.
A protest was held against Green Hill's suppliers: foods, equipment, legal assistance etc.
A National march in Milan brought thousands of people to the streets to demand an answer from the Mayor of Montichiari, Local Health Authority and the Regional Administration of Lombardy regarding the closure of Green Hill.
In diverse cities throughout Italy, artistic events illustrated the reality of animal experimentation.
The Public Prosecutors Office gave permission to OIPA Animal Wardens to inspect the Green Hill premises. Despite the reported "critical situation", the findings were not judicially followed up.
A vigil is organised in front of Green Hill. Before dawn, five activists climbed the fence and occupied the roof the 'Departure Shed', which was the last stop for dogs before being transported to laboratories. Dogs were again heard howling from inside. The sounds of the dogs went viral.
The occupation of the 'Departure Shed' roof ignited new dynamics in the campaign against Green Hill on a local and national level. Politicians stood against the facility and the President of the Lombardy Region proposed a regional law against dog and cat laboratory breeding farms in Lombardy. There were Parliamentary discussions of amendments to the European Directive 2010/63/EU regarding the use of animals in experiments.
Politicians, a veterinary association and representatives from the animal research community join together to discuss (mainly in the media) possible legal amendments which could bring about the closure of Green Hill.
Activist chain themselves to the railings outside the offices of Green Hill adjacent to the shed where dogs were held prior to being transported to laboratories. Pressure mounted on the Senate regarding the European Directive 2010/63/EU amendments.
HISTORICAL DAY! Photos of beagle puppies passed over Green Hill's barbed wire fence flashed all over the world during a protest at the facility. The now unstoppable protest grew and came under a mass media spotlight. Public support ballooned and support came from associations, individuals and politicians. Green Hill's days were numbered.
An audio recording from inside Green Hill was released on which a worker described how dogs are euthanized prior to being legally registered (all dogs have to be registered by law). The Local Health Authority at Brescia had always maintained that Green Hill workers had always rigidly followed the law. This was proof that they had now.
Activists attempted to set up a permanent protest camp outside Green Hill to further raise public awareness on the dogs’ plight but were stopped by the police and protests over the following days were stopped.
Various legal actions took place against Green Hill, sparked by the visit from the OIPA Wardens. The majority were based on accusations of cruelty and violation of the law 116/92 on the use of animal in experiments.
On 18th July 2012, at 09.15am, the State Forestry Police seized Green Hill. The alleged crime was animal cruelty. Thirty Forestry Police from Brescia, Bergamo, and the Special Investigative Branch of the Forestry Police (NIRDA) were present.
The Forestry Police found 100 dog carcasses in a freezer inside Green Hill - many puppies have been euthanised because they were deemed 'surplus' and some were unlawfully un-microchipped.
27 JULY 2012
On 27th July 2012, Fermare Green Hill, and other animal rights organisations started the process of fostering out the dogs to families. Not one single one will ever have to be experimented on. Supervising the entire operation were the Forestry Police, Judicial Police, Military Police and veterinary surgeons.
The Brescian Public Prosecutor appointed legal custody of the dogs to the organisations La Lega Anti-Vivisezione (LAV), other groups and associations so that the huge challenge of fostering the dogs could be carried out in less than two months.
20th September 2012 was the last fostering day: 2,639 dogs were liberated, and 9,000 requests were made by the public to foster them.
On 23rd June 2012, the Trial against Green Hill Managers and employees start. They are accused of cruelty and the unlawful killing of dogs. Those on Trial include Dr Ghislaine Rondot, Vice President for European Operations for B&K Universal, Roberto Bravi, Director of Green Hill and Renzo Graziosi, Green Hill Veterinarian.
On 23rd January 2015, sentancing was passed, each receiving one to one and half years in prison,
Ghislaine Rondot, Terminated her appointment as Director of B&K Universal and Yorkshire Evergreen on June 30th 2015. Her sudden termination was clearly a move to try and sweep under the carpet the abuses that occurred at Green Hill under her management. A company whose care towards animals in their Green Hill facility according to Italian magistrates was "inadequate, untimely, ineffective and short-lived.
Read in Italian:
Inside Green Hill (Italian):
Bags of dead dogs at Green Hill:
Image of the first beagle to leave Green Hill:
See the full judgement and sentencing
Life after a rescue from Green Hill for the few lucky ones.
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