PETA Calls Out Virginia Tech for Continuing to Buy Beagles from Filthy Breeding Mill

Documents Obtained by PETA Reveal the School's Purchase of Dozens of Dogs From Facility Cited for Violations of Federal Animal Welfare Laws

For Immediate Release:
October 2, 2020

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Blacksburg, Va. – PETA is publicly challenging Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) on its purchases of beagles from a troubled Cumberland beagle factory farm owned by animal testing giant Envigo. For years, the university has purchased dogs for experiments and training from the mill—and it continues to do so despite the facility’s multiple animal welfare violations and disturbing video footage, recorded by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors, of dogs suffering in filthy enclosures.

PETA has asked Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands to reconsider the university’s relationship with the facility, which warehouses more than 5,000 dogs and puppies—or better yet, to end the school’s experiments on dogs altogether. Virginia Tech experimenters have surgically placed implants in dogs’ hearts and then killed them one month later, inflicted deep wounds on dogs’ front legs, and deliberately placed dogs in hemorrhagic shock by bleeding them out to the point of near death.

“Just like the dogs we consider family, those purchased by Virginia Tech’s laboratories are social animals who need exercise, love, and care,” says PETA veterinarian Dr. Ingrid Taylor. “It appears that Virginia Tech doesn’t care where dogs used in its laboratories and classrooms come from, even if that place was cited by the USDA for being infested with maggots and caked with feces.”

USDA inspectors found dogs in dilapidated, ramshackle, and unsafe enclosures, where waste dripped from upper-level enclosures into ones below—and enclosures had several inches of fecal buildup under them. Dogs frequently suffered from pneumonia and had injuries to their paws as a result of damaged wire flooring, and they were fed kibble contaminated with insects, mold, and rodent droppings. The agency cited the facility for multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act.

Last year, Envigo scuttled a Gov. Ralph Northam–endorsed amendment to a bill that would have added a layer of state oversight to the welfare of dogs at facilities like its beagle mill.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to experiment on”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind