Virginia Lawmakers parade new legislation with facility that breeds beagles for animal testing

In a bipartisan effort, two Virginia lawmakers made an unannounced visit to a disgraced beagle breeding facility – Envigo.

Late last week, ABC News8 reported a posted undercover video showing the facility’s inhumane conditions. This week they report that action has been taken.

This may seem fast, but given the overall schedule, previous reports of carelessness in animal welfare, and the previous involvement of these very same legislators, it is still not fast enough. By far not.

Envigo – PETA’s undercover video


Envigo is a breeding facility that mainly provides beagles for animal experiments in laboratories.

While at DogTime we oppose breeding dogs into a life of cages, tests, and nudges, some feel it is necessary. Considering that this would be unbearable for humans, we are not sure why it should be “necessary” in dogs, but unfortunately.

For context, regarding Envigo, the video details the cruel and inhuman treatment of Beagles in their facility. It did so through an undercover video conducted by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

In the video, dead or dying beagles are locked in tight cages. Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA’s Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations, cited documents showing that “more than 350 beagles suffered and died in Envigo.”

A worker was also heard saying in front of the camera: “They weren’t fed this week. If too many people know, what we do will find out and it will get bad. “

Not the first time: previous quotations and involvement of the legislature

While watching the above video, Republican Senator Bill Stanley said he was “stupid” that the video was “disturbing” and “an embarrassment for the Commonwealth of Virginia.” He promised that legislation was underway.

This week, both Stanley and Democrat Senator David Marsden seemed to be delivering on that promise – something. After another USDA inspection that cited the facility with 25 animal welfare abuses, lawmakers paid the facility an unannounced visit.

It’s important to note that they did this with media in tow. The USDA also carried out the inspection in July. God knows how many beagles have died since then.

In that report, inspectors found beagles suffering from “dental diseases” and “eye infections”. There is an “accumulation of feces, urine and insects” and “infestation by flies and ants in automatic dog feeders”.

Not to mention the overall temperature of the facility was 85 degrees.

Prior to this report, the same senators made a “plan” with Envigo a year ago to correct previously cited animal welfare abuses. Obviously it went nowhere and did nothing. They even paid a visit back then.

Will something be different this time?

Senator Marsden told 8News, “We had an agreement [for] the state veterinarian comes out and checks the facility. It fell a little below expectations. It became more of a visit than a detailed investigation. “

The Senators’ new plan is to draft a bill that will more closely monitor the conduct of these inspections and provide better monitored results.

“In my opinion, it’s best to have an inspector-general who is paid by the facility and its parent company, but works for the state, but here full-time,” Marsden said.

(Image credit: Tatomm / Getty Images)

8News rightly asked, “Why not just close the troubled facility?”

Marsden replied, “Closing a facility that provides research animals is difficult. You will learn how to make hip replacements with these animals. That sounds terrible, but we all benefit from the fact that research is being carried out. “

Somehow I doubt a lot of people would want a hip at this price point. At least not knowingly.

Stanley, who adopted a Beagle for the cameras, said, “Envigo made a commitment today to work with me and one or two discharge agencies to make sure we can find forever homes for these dogs and give them that chance at love and life like this little puppy right here. “

Declaration and inspection reports from Envigo

Envigo’s official statement to News8 reads as follows:

“While the USDA inspections have shown that we need to make improvements, previously we had and are continuing to take the necessary corrective actions for all of the issues described in the reports. We value the information provided, take the feedback seriously and understand that the improvements we make are a continuous effort. “

“After the USDA visited our facility, we immediately began addressing concerns and developing treatment programs for all animals identified. We do not neglect our animals and are committed to ensuring that every sick animal receives the right care it deserves. “

If you want to measure these words against the test reports yourself, you can read them here: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

And if you believe that breeding and using Beagles for laboratory testing is wrong, like we do at DogTime, you should support an organization that is saving Beagles and fighting for an end to cruelty like the Beagle Freedom Project!

Do you think the legislature has done enough here? Do you think we should allow this type of establishment, with a history of violations and cruelty to Beagles, to continue its operations? Let us know in the comments below.


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About Clayton Arredondo

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