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USDA Citations of Envigo Prompt Bipartisan Legislative Effort, Launch of Virginia Coalition for Beagle Protection

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From People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA):

USDA Citations of Envigo Prompt Bipartisan Legislative Effort, Launch of Virginia Coalition for Beagle Protection

Richmond, Va. — Eight state legislators filed 11 bills aimed at addressing the deplorable conditions for beagle dogs and puppies at Envigo, an Indiana-based international supplier to laboratories which operates a massive dog breeding facility in Virginia, and which in July was cited for dozens of violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), including the deaths of at least 300 puppies from “unknown” causes. Supporting the effort is the newly formed Virginia Coalition for Beagle Protection (VCBP), led by The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and the Virginia Federation of Humane Societies (VFHS)—which represent hundreds of thousands of Virginia residents and dozens of organizations from across the Commonwealth concerned about animal protection.

(Please read more below below 🙂

The Cumberland County, Virginia, site—which has sold dogs to facilities within the U.S. and overseas, including to laboratories in Japan and Taiwan—has been operating without state oversight since 1961. By its own account, Envigo employs only 25 people (not all of whom have animal husbandry–related duties), a fraction of the number of people it would take to provide minimal, basic care to 5,000 dogs. An exposé by PETA revealed workers with no veterinary credentials injecting euthanasia drugs directly into puppies’ hearts without sedation, causing them immense pain; depriving nursing mother dogs of food; and leaving dogs soaked to the skin with water sprayed from high-pressure hoses, among other issues.

Envigo’s legal troubles were recently covered by The Washington Post as well as Fox News.

The following bills aim to address these issues:

  • SB 87 (Sen. Bill Stanley, R-20): Prohibits dealers and breeders from importing or selling dogs or cats bred by anyone with certain AWA violations
  • SB 88 (Sen. Bill Stanley, R-20): Requires dog and cat breeders to maintain and report to the state records of all the animals they sell to laboratories for two years after each animal’s sale date
  • SB 90 (Sen. Bill Stanley, R-20): Requires dog and cat breeders that sell to laboratories to offer unneeded animals for adoption prior to euthanasia
  • SB 442 (Sen. Jennifer Boysko, D-33; Sen. Bill Stanley, R-20): Requires dog and cat breeders that sell to laboratories to report certain records monthly to the state veterinarian
  • SB 457 (Sen. Jennifer Boysko, D-33; Sen. Bill Stanley, R-20): Prohibits breeding dogs or cats for sale to overseas laboratories or to U.S. laboratories that will use the animals for testing or research not required by federal law or regulation
  • SB 535 (Sen. David Marsden, D-37): Directs the state veterinarian to hire an animal welfare oversight officer to inspect and oversee the operations of dog and cat breeders that sell to laboratories
  • SB 604 (Sen. Bill Stanley, R-20): Clarifies that dogs and cats in the possession of breeders that sell to laboratories are protected by cruelty-to-animals laws
  • HB 255 (Rep. Shelly Simonds, D-94): Prohibits state entities from buying dogs or cats for experiments from breeders with certain AWA violations
  • HB 1061 (Rep. Irene Shin, D-86): Prohibits breeding dogs or cats for sale to overseas laboratories
  • HB 1313 (Del. Kaye Kory, D-38; Del. Buddy Fowler, R-55): Requires dog and cat breeders to maintain and report to the state records of all the animals they sell to laboratories for two years after each animal’s sale date; requires dog and cat breeders that sell to laboratories to report certain records monthly to the state veterinarian
  • HB 1350 (Del. Robert B. Bell, R-58): Prohibits dealers and breeders from importing or selling dogs or cats bred by anyone with certain AWA violations

“Being a ‘dad’ to two wonderful beagles I personally rescued from Envigo, I know firsthand how loving, social and deserving of protection these dogs are,” says Bill Stanley, R-20, who is leading the effort in the Senate. “It is time for Virginia to pass meaningful legislation to safeguard the welfare of these wonderful dogs so that Envigo’s obligations and accountability mirror existing laws that already apply to all Virginians, businesses, and non-profit organizations.”

“I am proud to work alongside Senator Stanley and others to finally bring relief to the thousands of beagles bred by Envigo to be experimented on,” says Jennifer Boysko, D-33. “Virginia has always been a leader on animal welfare legislation, and we hope to ensure that the dogs at Envigo are treated humanely and in accordance with state animal protection laws.”

These are the current members of the VCBP:

  • Alleghany Humane Society
  • Animal Resources of Tidewater
  • Basset Rescue of Old Dominion
  • Bay Beagle Rescue (Hampton Roads)
  • Beagles and Bentleys (Richmond)
  • Bristol Humane Society Margaret B. Mitchell Spay/Neuter Clinic
  • Bully Advocate & Rescue Collective (Hampton Roads)
  • Cat Action Team (Charlottesville)
  • Chesapeake Humane Society
  • Danville Area Humane Society
  • Dogs Deserve Better Blue Ridge
  • Gray Face Acres Senior Dog Rescue (Northern Virginia)
  • Heritage Humane Society (Williamsburg)
  • Humane Society of Fairfax County
  • The Humane Society of the United States
  • Lucky Dog Animal Rescue (Northern Virginia)
  • Lynchburg Humane Society
  • Middleburg Humane Foundation
  • Norfolk Animal Care Center
  • Norfolk SPCA
  • NoVA Coalition for Animals
  • Partners Among Cats and Canines (Southampton County)
  • PAWS of SWVA
  • Peninsula SPCA (Newport News)
  • PETA
  • Portsmouth Humane Society
  • Reba’s Animal Rescue (Hampton Roads)
  • Richmond SPCA
  • SPCA of Northern Virginia
  • Symbiotic, Inc. (Suffolk)
  • VFHS
  • Virginia Alliance for Animal Shelters
  • Virginia Animal Control Association
  • Virginia Animal Rights Voters
  • Virginia Beach SPCA
  • Wise County Humane Society

For more information on how to help and/or join the Virginia Coalition for Beagle Protection, please visit the VCBP on Facebook.

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