Envigo Relinquishes 446 Seized Beagles; Joint Motion Filed to Postpone June 2 Federal Hearing

For Immediate Release:
June 1, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Lynchburg, Va.

A joint motion just filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Envigo RMS LLC in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Lynchburg Division, reveals that Envigo has relinquished 446 beagles found in “acute distress” and seized last month by the DOJ and other law-enforcement agents pursuant to a search warrant.

“These docile, long-neglected dogs will be spared untold suffering in cruel and deadly experiments, and they can leave behind Envigo’s relentless stress, sweltering sheds, barren cages, and chronic deprivation of their basic needs,” says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is celebrating a new beginning for these dogs and what we hope will be the end of Envigo’s horrific hell on Earth for thousands of dogs.”

After Envigo was cited for more than 70 violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act since July 2021, the DOJ filed a complaint on May 19, asking a federal court to enjoin the company permanently from violating the law. On May 21, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon issued a temporary restraining order and ordered that Envigo “[i]mmediately cease breeding, selling, or otherwise dealing in beagles at the Cumberland Facility, until in full compliance with [the order’s other requirements].”

Today’s joint filing by the DOJ and Envigo indicates that both of them are “working diligently to develop a plan to resolve” the case. A hearing on a preliminary injunction in the matter was scheduled for June 2. The parties asked the court to continue that hearing until around June 13.

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; injected euthanasia drugs directly into puppies’ hearts without sedation, causing them immense pain; intentionally withheld food from famished nursing mother dogs and their puppies; and sprayed dogs, including puppies, with cold water from high-pressure hoses, among other forms of abuse. Broadcast-quality video from PETA’s investigation is available here, and photographs from the investigation are available here.

For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

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