Virginia’s General Assembly has passed five animal protection bills that will help many dogs and cats in the state. These bills aim to address the terrible conditions for beagle dogs and puppies at Envigo, a dog breeding facility for the vivisection industry based in Cumberland. PETA exposed it in a damning investigation in 2020.
Passed with widespread bipartisan support and a unanimous vote in both chambers of the Assembly, these are the five animal protection bills:
- Senate Bill 87 (Stanley R-20/Boysko D-33) and House Bill 1350 (Bell R-58) prohibit dealers and breeders from importing or selling dogs or cats bred by anyone with certain federal Animal Welfare Act violations on and following the bills’ effective date of July 1, 2023.
- SB 88 (Stanley R-20/Boysko D-33) requires dog and cat breeders to maintain and report to the state records of all the animals they sell for experimentation for two years after each animal’s sale date.
- SB 90 (Stanley R-20/Boysko D-33) requires dog and cat breeders that breed animals for experimental purposes to offer “surplus” animals for adoption prior to euthanasia.
- SB 604 (Stanley R-20/Boysko D-33) clarifies that dogs and cats in the possession of breeders that sell animals for experimental purposes are protected by cruelty-to-animals laws.
This success was achieved thanks to the lobbying of The Virginia Coalition for Beagle Protection (VCBP) led by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies (VFHS).
Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA Senior Vice President, said “Once signed by Gov. Youngkin, these bills will mean that the thousands of gentle beagles confined at Envigo will finally have some protections and safeguards afforded to them by Virginia law…The Virginia Coalition for Beagle Protection is deeply grateful to members of the Virginia General Assembly, who voted unanimously to pass these commonsense measures to hold Envigo accountable for its inexplicable and inexcusable violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.”