Judge Bars Envigo From Breeding and Selling Dogs to Laboratories; Criminal Charges Remain Possible

For Immediate Release:
July 18, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Lynchburg, Va.

In a consent decree executed in the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) civil case against Envigo, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon has permanently barred Envigo from “any activity requiring [a federal Animal Welfare Act] license” at the company’s Cumberland beagle-breeding factory and laboratory, including breeding and raising dogs for sale and experimenting on animals. Envigo’s parent company, Inotiv, announced in June that it would close the facility.

The consent decree leaves open the possibility that Envigo and/or its employees will be charged with crimes and “does not bind any criminal prosecuting authority, whether federal, state, or local.” The agreement authorizes the U.S. Marshals Service to “deploy all lawful means necessary to ensure … the safety of all individuals … involved in” rescuing all the approximately 4,000 surviving beagles from the Cumberland site. Any violations of the agreement, which effectively resolves the DOJ’s civil case against Envigo, could be punished by sanctions for contempt of court.

“PETA’s investigation and complaint prompted dozens of the citations that U.S. attorneys and the court relied on in filing this precedent-setting case and ordering its resolution,” says PETA Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations Daphna Nachminovitch. “As Envigo’s surviving victims are finally given the long-overdue opportunity to enjoy life as members of a family, we hope the company and its management will be held criminally responsible for withholding food from famished mother dogs for days and letting puppies fall into drains and die, which any ordinary Virginia resident would be prosecuted for.”

On July 5, Moon approved the DOJ and Envigo’s joint transfer plan for the Humane Society of the United States to remove all—an estimated 4,000—surviving dogs from the Cumberland facility within 60 days so that they can be adopted. Once the rescue is complete, the DOJ will move to dismiss its May 19 complaint against Envigo. The complaint alleged that Envigo had violated federal law and prompted Moon to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the company. Simultaneously, the DOJ and other federal and state law-enforcement agents seized from Envigo 446 beagles found in “acute distress.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—conducted a seven-month undercover investigation into Envigo. Broadcast-quality video footage from the group’s investigation is available here, and photographs 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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