Plans to build a new "beagle factory" which would supply dogs for animal testing in Yorkshire has been rejected by the council.
East Riding of Yorkshire council have thrown out the controversial plans to brred up to 2,000 beagles for scientific experiments at a site in Grimston near Aldbrough.
More than 40,000 people across the country signed online petitions urging the council to reject the proposals. Comedian and actor Ricky Gervais was one of those who urged people to sign the petition by the British Union of the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV).
The council said they rejected the plans to build the farm based on planning law only rather than ethical reasons. They were worried about the amount of traffic and noise the site would bring to the area.
Michelle Thew, CEO of BUAV, said she was "delighted" at the decision. she said: "Thousands of animals will be spared as a result of this decision. On behalf of everyone who signed the petition and spoke out against plans for this facility, we thank the East Riding Councillors for everything they have done today for the animals."
A spokesperson for animal welfare charity Peta told IB Times UK: "This is a great day for animals and common sense. We're thrilled that following campaigns by PETA and other groups, the council has recognised what the public already knew - that breeding dogs for deadly experiments is a shameful trade.
"Dogs aren't commodities, and they aren't test tubes with tails. Beagles are friendly, loyal and docile. These qualities - which make them excellent family companions - are also the very reason why animal experimenters choose to use them for tests, exploiting their trusting nature.
"These dogs have been spared the worst of all possible lives: bred for profit on a factory farm and then sent to laboratories to be poisoned with pesticides and drugs or cut up in experiments.
"No animal deserves that kind of fate, and the sooner the whole B&K Universal operation shuts down, the better."
Jan Creamer, chief executive National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS), also praised the decision by East Riding of Yorkshire Council. She said: "This is a significant victory for animals, public opinion and modern science. The Council has shown today that using dogs in experiments is quite literally a dying industry."
However, others have said they are disappointed at the decision, adding that the experiments are needed to ensure new medicines will be safe for human consumption.
Wendy Jarrett, chief executive of Understanding Animal Research, said: "While scientists don't want to have to use dogs - or any animal for that matter - the fact is they remain essential for safety testing new medicines before they are given to human beings.
"It would have been much better for the dogs if they could be bred here in the UK rather than having to be flown in from abroad."
B&K Universal has not decided whether to appeal the decision or not. The company's managing director Roy Sutcliffe said he was "surprised and dismayed" at the council's decision after they initially approved the proposal.