Following the raid that saw USDA agents and other authorities raided beagle-breeder-for-testing Envigo’s Cumberland facility and seize 145 dogs that were in “acute distress”, a federal judge issued an emergency order imposing a series of restrictions on a Virginia dog-breeding facility. (RELATED: USDA Agents Raid and Seize Dogs at Beagle-Breeder-for Testing Envigo)
The Envigo RMS facility in Cumberland County has been under increasing scrutiny for months, drawing concerns from animal rights groups, members of Congress, and Virginia lawmakers, who passed animal welfare measures this year intended to tighten up the facility’s requirements and strengthen state oversight.
Repeated federal inspections since Envigo acquired the facility in 2019 have resulted in dozens of violations, including findings that dogs had received inadequate medical care and insufficient food, were housed in filthy conditions, and some had been euthanized without first receiving anesthesia. Hundreds of dogs have also been found dead at the facility, according to inspections.
“Despite being on notice since July 2021 that the conditions at its Cumberland facility fall far below the (Animal Welfare Act’s) minimum standards, Envigo has failed to take the necessary steps to ensure that all of the beagles at its facility are provided humane care and treatment and that the Cumberland facility is operating in compliance with the (act),”
The government is requesting that a judge declare Envigo has repeatedly violated the Animal Welfare Act and restrain the company from further violations.
“Envigo is failing to meet the minimum standards for handling and housing the beagles, resulting in the unnecessary suffering and, at times, death of beagles at the Cumberland Facility,” the complaint said.
According to the complaint, the facility has housed up to 5,000 beagles since July 2021. It alleged staffing has been “paltry” and the attending veterinarian has failed to provide and oversee adequate care.
Envigo was also the subject of an investigation last year by the Norfolk-based animal-rights group PETA that found similar mistreatment. The group conducted a months-long undercover investigation into the facility in 2021 and filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in October of that year, prompting inspections, senior vice president Daphna Nachminovitch.
“PETA finds suffering like this every time we crack open an operation like Envigo, and this needs to be the beginning of the end for this hideous beagle-breeding mill,” Nachminovitch said in a statement.
After the raid that saw 145 beagles seized from the the breeder, and this latest federal crackdown, hopefully these animals can get the care they actually need from people that will follow the laws to care for them.