After a court decided to allow dog-breeder-for-testing Envigo to fulfill existing contracts to sell its dogs amid an ongoing federal lawsuit, 29 Virginia legislators and federal prosecutors are working to block the sale of what prosecutors say is 2,200 beagles, including 1,200 to international customers.
In a motion for clarification U.S. prosecutors filed Friday, prosecutors suggest that Envigo misled the court about the number of dogs it intended to sell.
“Envigo RMS is seeking to fulfill orders for the transfer of more than 2,200 beagles from the Cumberland Facility, a substantially greater figure than the ‘more than 500 dogs,’ ECF No. 18 at 5, that Envigo RMS represented it was seeking to deal in in the next 30 days,” the motion states.
In the most recent motion, prosecutors also allege that Envigo is trying to prefill contracts that aren’t scheduled for fulfillment until mid 2023.
“This is in stark contrast to Envigo RMS’s representation to the Court that it would seek to transfer 500 dogs in the next 30 days, based on the contracts that were past due or would be due in the next 30 days,” the motion states.
Prosecutors want the court to clarify the scope of its original order, which could affect how many dogs Envigo can sell.
A bipartisan group of 29 Virginia General Assembly legislators are urging USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Administrator Kevin Shea to suspend Envigo’s license for 21 days, to block it from selling the animals. Legislators and animal welfare advocates want to see the dogs adopted out instead.
“This past legislative session, we introduced and passed—unanimously in both chambers—five bills designed to protect the dogs at this facility and hold the company accountable for its ongoing and persistent violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA),” a June 21 letter states.
Legislators highlighted conditions from a recent DOJ raid at the facility where 446 dogs in distress were seized.
The letter concludes, “7 U.S. Code section 2149 (a) allows you to suspend Envigo’s license for 21 days. We urge you to do so immediately as a first step toward protecting these animals from further suffering.”
This article originally appeared in The Virginia Star. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the positions of The Republican Standard. Republished with permission.