A federal judge approved a plan to transfer 4,000 beagles from a breeding facility in Virginia to shelters nationwide for adoption in the coming months. The plan came after the federal government filed a civil enforcement case in May 2022 against Envigo RMS, which owns and operates the breeding facility in Cumberland, Virginia. They were breeding beagles for medical research, but undercover investigations and official inspections discover many animal welfare problems.
Federal officials claim that Envigo did not give sufficient food to the dogs, veterinary care was inadequate, the beagles were housed in filthy conditions and some had been euthanized without anaesthesia. An inspection report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that, between January and July 2021, over 300 puppy deaths were attributed to “unknown causes”, and the facility had not taken any additional steps to investigate the deaths or prevent similar losses in the future. As a consequence, U.S. District Court Judge Norman Moon issued a restraining order that imposed restrictions on the facility.
On 8th July 2022, the government and Envigo filed a plan for the Human Society of the United States (HSUS) to remove “all” of the beagles in the facility. During the next two months, HSUS will transport the dogs to shelters across the country, and Envigo will cover a monetary fee to help shelters with the costs. “Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations, said, “Envigo’s surviving victims will soon be given the opportunity to have what every dog deserves — the freedom to enjoy life, love, and respect for their individuality as members of a family home.” U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., and Mark R. Warner, D-Va., said in a joint statement, “After months of advocacy, we’re heartened to know that nearly 4,000 Envigo dogs will be spared a lifetime of suffering and will instead head to loving homes…We’re also pleased to know that Inotiv – Envigo’s parent company – will shutter its Cumberland facility and that no more dogs will be subject to the appalling conditions and inexcusable distress endured by so many dogs and puppies at the facility. We will continue working in the Senate to prevent the mistreatment of innocent animals across Virginia and the nation.”