Envigo: USDA fails with Beagles: US senators take action

A factory farm for breeding beagles providing a laboratory – this was the PETA undercover investigation heard around the world. The senses. Americans Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-Va.) speak on behalf of thousands of suffering beagles at the massive Envigo-operated facility in Cumberland, Va., which breeds dogs for experimentation. In their letter sent today to Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Administrator Kevin Shea, Sens. Warner and Kaine wrote:

It is clear to us that Envigo has failed in its duty to provide humane care to its dogs and is unable to meet the basic standards set out in animal welfare law. The role of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in ensuring the humane treatment of animals extends beyond routine and targeted inspections. Congress has granted the USDA broad authority to apply penalties to violators of the Animal Welfare Act. To our knowledge, APHIS has yet to exercise such authority despite Envigo’s repeated failures to provide adequate care to the 5,000 dogs in its care.

“In light of the continuing and gross violations of the AWA, we believe that APHIS should immediately suspend the license of the breeding facility Envigo,” the senators also wrote.

PETA’s secret investigation into the massive breeding facility owned by Envigo uncovered 5,000 beagle dogs and puppies intensively confined to small, sterile kennels and cages 24/7. At Envigo, where dead and dying puppies were almost a daily occurrence, workers without a veterinary degree stuck needles into puppies’ heads; injected euthanasia drugs directly into the hearts of puppies without sedation, causing them immense pain; deprive nursing female dogs of food for up to two days; doused the dogs with high-pressure hoses, leaving them soaked; and made them suffer in other ways.

In July, the USDA cited Envigo for 26 AWA violations. In October, a team of USDA officials conducted a multi-day inspection of the puppy mill. The USDA corroborated PETA’s findings and cited Envigo for 13 other violations. Between those months, the USDA found that at Envigo, only 17 staff members were employed to provide direct care to 5,000 dogs and puppies; more than 300 puppy deaths attributed to “unknown causes”; a dead puppy was found gutted, and records showed that his kennel mates “chewed” his corpse; three dogs had been killed in fighting; 71 others had been injured by dogs in adjacent kennels; 24 dogs and puppies were missing; and nine dogs that had been injured when “body parts” were pulled through a kennel wall by other dogs and bitten, causing “unnecessary physical harm and pain”, were put down.

Next to a November checkEnvigo was cited for 26 Additional violations, including killing young puppies by intracardiac injection without prior sedation, a method that causes pain and discomfort and is deemed unacceptable by the American Veterinary Medical Association; denying dozens of dogs to deal with ‘serious dental disease’, ‘serious medical conditions of the ears, eyes, feet, skin, coat and poor body condition’, ‘lameness’ , “weakness”, “lethargy” and “traumatic injuries” ”; and depriving several dogs of adequate protection from the elements as well as depriving 742 young dogs and puppies of adequate space. Inspectors also found 21 wet, shivering and cold puppies, and according to the facility’s records, “an additional 25 puppies were found dead with a cause of death attributed to exposure to cold…in the past 8 weeks”.

As revealed in a report posted on March 28, USDA had cited Envigo again on March 18 for five other AWA violations (including documented injuries such as lacerations, bites, bruised and damaged extremities, ear injuries and tail damage, for which eight dogs were put down ), bringing the establishment’s total to 73 offenses since July 2021.

Please click below to join PETA, these and other members of Congressand countless others to urge USDA authorities to take immediate enforcement action against Envigo:

And follow the Virginia Coalition for Beagle Protection on Facebook and Twitter for the latest on landmark bills introduced by Virginia lawmakers working to protect dogs trapped in Envigo:

To note: PETA supports animal rights, opposes all forms of animal exploitation, and educates the public about these issues. PETA does not participate or intervene directly or indirectly in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office or political party.