The British stars have vocally opposed the proposals for a Beagle farm to be constructed in East Yorkshire, England, but their campaign failed to move Local Government and Communities Secretary Greg Clark, who gave the building the green light this week (beg13Jul15).

Gervais took to to condemn the decision, which comes just days after a win for anti fox-hunting campaigners, writing, "They can't torture the foxes so they'll torture the hounds. Government allows beagles to be bred for testing."

Downton Abbey star Egan tells the Press Association, "This is a tragedy that will see litter after litter of beagle pups reared for the laboratory, where these gentle animals will be force-fed and killed in crude tests that are of little use to people."

May adds, "I am sickened to hear that this facility is to go ahead, ignoring the views of the public and local authorities, and condemning these best friends of man to thousands of unethical and unnecessary tests... This is an appalling message for Britain to send out to the world."