Guilty! Envigo Convicted, Fined $22 Million in Historic Plea Agreement Following PETA Undercover Investigation

For Immediate Release:
June 3, 2024

Brandi Pharris 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va.

After a PETA undercover investigation into Envigo’s Cumberland, Virginia, beagle factory farm prompted U.S. officials to cite the facility for dozens of violations of law and execute a search warrant there, Envigo pleaded guilty today to a criminal charge of conspiracy to violate the federal Animal Welfare Act and a felony charge of conspiracy to violate the federal Clean Water Act. These first-ever federal convictions of a supplier of animals for experimentation leave Envigo facing more than $35 million in penalties, including a $22 million fine.

“The U.S. Department of Justice relied on PETA’s undercover investigation evidence, and we thank the agency for its thorough investigation and tenacity in holding Envigo accountable for depriving famished mother dogs of food, cruelly killing puppies, and pressure-hosing caged animals with cold water,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “Envigo executives chose to collect more than $11 million off 10,000 beagles’ misery, rather than addressing systemic violations they knew about, and criminal charges for them and others responsible for the cruelty in Cumberland must be next.”

PETA’s investigator tipped off the government to many of the violations cited in the Justice Department’s case, including that Envigo staff killed conscious puppies via excruciating injections into the heart; advised other employees to withhold food from nursing mother dogs and falsely told inspectors the dogs were being fed every day; and falsified records. The filings also reveal the following:

  • Envigo executives denied or ignored employees’ repeated complaints about the Cumberland facility’s attending veterinarian—including her adequacy as a surgeon and a supervisor and her failure to show up for work—and rejected requests to remove her from the position.
  • Envigo knew the Cumberland facility’s water was unsuitable for drinking—it provided bottled water for its employees and posted notices to boil water—but continued to give non-potable water to dogs and used feces-contaminated well water to spray kennels, increasing the dogs’ risk of contracting disease.
  • Envigo executives knew the Cumberland facility was operating in violation of law but declined requests to spend money to improve the operation. Even after Envigo executives were notified of longstanding issues with the presence of worms, flies, and cockroaches at the facility—including in dog feeders and food bins—the company treated the problem as an “accepted characteristic” there.

Following PETA’s investigation and the government’s actions, the Cumberland facility closed and nearly 4,000 beagles were released for adoption. But Envigo’s parent company, Inotiv, remains a major supplier of endangered long-tailed macaque monkeys to U.S. laboratories. It also breeds and sells rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats, and mice for experiments and performs tests on animals. As part of the first-of-its-kind plea agreement, Inotiv must do these things:

  • Submit to an independent monitor’s oversight of its compliance with the law and animal welfare–related probationary conditions
  • Provide sufficient staff for the appropriate care of all animals at each of its facilities in the U.S.
  • Give hiring preference to veterinarians who are board-certified specialists
  • Make an independent monitor’s reports on the company publicly available
  • Commit $7 million to animal care improvements at Inotiv facilities, $3 million in reimbursements for the costs of seizing and caring for the surviving dogs from the Cumberland facility, and $3.5 million to restore nearby ecosystems

Broadcast-quality video footage from PETA’s investigation is available here, and photographs are available here. For more information on PETA’s investigative newsgathering and reporting, please visit or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram.

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