After years of protests targeting the facility and its mistreatment of animals, advocates are celebrating the closure of Greenhill Farm. Thirty rangers from Italy’s forest service raided the notorious breeding facility Wednesday and shut it down.
Located in Montichiari, close to the town of Brescia in northern Italy, Greenhill has drawn fire from activists for breeding thousands of Beagles for vivisection laboratories, and raising them in inhumane conditions. Greenhill is a commercial breeding facility known for supplying research labs with as many as 250 dogs each month.
Following the raid, officials said three employees were already under investigation for animal cruelty. The 2,500 dogs living on the property were seized, and are being held there until they can be relocated. It is estimated that approximately 1000 protesters overwhelmed police en route to Green Hill.
The raid occurred just months after after a thousand anti-vivisection activists stormed the compoundto liberate puppies. (MUST SEE VIDEO)Breaking through fences, activists made their way inside the farm and opened the kennels, taking away puppies, pregnant dogs – any they could find were released. Dogs were passed over fences and rushed away by advocates determined to spare them from a life of suffering.
A few protesters were arrested, but many believe that the attention the incident drew led officials to take a closer look at Greenhill. Animal rights activists say the closure of Greenhill represents a massive victory in the war against animal testing.
“It’s the first good news of the year and I am happy it’s coming from Italy,” said French film star and animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot. “This dog farm of shame must permanently close its doors because we have no right to abandon thousands of dogs in hell,” she said.
Among the customers of Green Hill there are pharmaceutical companies, university laboratories, and famous centers of experimentation as the notorious Huntingdon Life Sciencesin England, the largest laboratory of animal torture in Europe- targeted by activists around the world.
The Italian senate is now considering a provision to ban the breeding of dogs, cats and primates for research purposes. There are too many non-animal alterntives to keep torturing animals.
Former Tourism Minister Michela Brambilla traveled to the prison to visit those arrested for their involvement in the raid. The former minister noted that the demonstrators’ actions are representative of ”the high level of exasperation felt by citizens, who will no longer tolerate such shameful activity in our country. The thousands of people who for months have staged every form of civil protest against Green Hill are representing the feelings of millions of Italians.”
The activists who were being held have been released.