For Immediate Release:
June 24, 2022
Amanda Hays 202-483-7382
Lynchburg, Va. – According to a motion just filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has discovered that Envigo intends to sell more than 2,200 beagles between now and July 2023—in stark contrast to the company’s June 13 representations to Senior U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon that it wished to sell “more than 500” dogs in the ensuing 30 days. Only four of the more than 90 contracts for dogs the DOJ has reviewed identify the defendant in the case, Envigo RMS LLC, as supplying the dogs—nearly every contract identifies a different Envigo entity, whose federal license does not cover the 2,200 dogs whose fates are at stake. Envigo wants to sell more than 1,200 beagles to customers overseas after emphasizing to Moon that its facility played a significant role in the U.S. domestic industry of breeding beagles for experimentation. The DOJ has asked Moon to clarify how his June 17 order in the case applies to these points and, thus, the dogs’ fates.
The $330 million company’s move comes despite the vigorous objections of the DOJ and 29 Virginia legislators who urged the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to exercise its authority under the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) and suspend Envigo’s license in light of its 74 AWA violations in 10 months. In late March, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) called on the USDA to “immediately suspend the license of the Envigo breeding facility.” USDA action would have prevented these beagles from being used in painful experiments and killed and thousands of other beagles from being subjected to ongoing cruel and unlawful conditions.
“Inotiv, Envigo’s parent company, admits that less than 1% of its revenue is generated by this business, yet it insists on shipping more than 2,000 of these long-neglected beagles to laboratories around the globe, where holes may be drilled in their skulls, chemicals may be injected into their brains, and their eyes may be burned, among other forms of torment,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “The USDA’s inexcusable failure to enforce the Animal Welfare Act left thousands of dogs to suffer and die terribly at Envigo and may now condemn thousands of beagles to more terror, deprivation, and misery.”
Earlier this week, PETA Honorary Director Bill Maher and more than 55,000 kind people called on Inotiv to allow all the dogs to be adopted. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—conducted a seven-month undercover investigation into Envigo, which revealed more than 360 dead puppies. Workers with no veterinary credentials stuck needles into puppies’ heads, apparently to drain hematomas, without any pain relief and injected euthanasia drugs directly into their hearts without sedation—causing them immense pain—among other abuse. Broadcast-quality video footage from PETA’s investigation is available here, and photographs are available here.