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Virginia dog farm raided, 145 dogs confiscated

The Envigo breeding and research facility in Cumberland, Va., has been cited 60 times since July 2021 for “AWA non-compliance.”

CUMBERLAND, Virginia – Editor’s Note: The video above originally aired on April 4.

The Department of Justice is seeking a temporary restraining order against a Virginia dog breeder for allegedly violating the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), according to a complaint filed Thursday.

WUSA9 first reported the allegations against the Envigo Breeding and Research Center in Cumberland, Virginia on April 1. The company is committed to breeding dogs for research and scientific experiments – regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

On Wednesday, 145 dogs and puppies “in acute distress” were seized from the facility by USDA investigators, according to the DOJ complaint.

“Envigo’s disregard for the law and the welfare of the beagles in his care has resulted in unnecessary suffering for the animals and, in some cases, death,” the DOJ complaint said.

Between July 2021 and today, the facility, which houses up to 5,000 beagles, has been cited 60 times in less than a year for “non-compliance with the AWA.” The DOJ complaint says more than half of the citations were considered the most serious type of AWA citation. The complaint also alleges that Envigo has not hired enough employees to properly care for its beagles, that it has chosen to euthanize the dogs when they suffer preventable injuries from overcrowding or enclosures. unsanitary rather than providing treatment and that when the dogs died, the facility did not properly investigate their deaths.

“When 300 beagle puppies died in 7 months due to ‘unknown causes,’ Envigo failed to investigate or accurately diagnose the cause of death to spare other beagle puppies similar deaths,” the complaint states.

The senses. Americans Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) previously urged the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to suspend the facility’s license for “repeated failures to provide adequate care” to beagles. Warner and Kaine also raised concerns about USDA delays in releasing inspection results.

“While APHIS inspection reports have proven to be an invaluable resource in uncovering the breadth and depth of abuse that has occurred at Envigo facilities, we are concerned about the delays in releasing these reports” , wrote the senators. “Lawyers, lawmakers and the public waited months after the inspections to consider the findings of the inspection report.”

The senators say they appreciated the complexity of the reports and the immense care animal care specialists take in preparing them, but they also say it is unacceptable that the public and elected officials were not aware horrible violations that months after the inspections and the animals suffered. in the meantime.

When WUSA9 contacted Envigo in April for comment, a spokesperson said they were making progress in improving conditions at the Cumberland facility, working towards a goal of one sitter per 100 dogs, and adopted nearly 500 of the 5,000 dogs housed. the.

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