Historic Fine Imposed on Beagle Breeder for Animal Welfare Violations

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Written By Blue & Gold NLR Team

 

 

 

 

In a landmark case, the parent company of a Virginia facility that bred beagles for laboratory testing has been ordered to pay a record-breaking $35 million fine for violating the Animal Welfare Act.

The facility, Envigo RMS, pleaded guilty to conspiring to knowingly violate the act, and its subsidiary, Envigo Global Services Inc., pleaded guilty to a felony count of conspiring to knowingly violate the Clean Water Act.

The facility was found to have committed numerous animal welfare violations, including inhumane euthanasia practices, inadequate veterinary care, and failure to meet minimum standards for handling, housing, and sanitation. The facility also failed to operate and maintain its wastewater treatment plant, resulting in the discharge of untreated water into a local waterway.

The investigation began in 2022 after about 4,000 beagles were rescued from the facility. The Humane Society of the United States helped facilitate the adoption of these dogs, which were found in “acute distress” when officials arrived. The facility’s leadership team was aware of the violations since at least July 2021 but failed to take action to correct them.

The fine is the largest ever imposed in an Animal Welfare Act case, and it serves as a stern warning to companies that prioritize profits over animal welfare. The Humane Society is grateful that those responsible for the suffering of the beagles are being held accountable and that the dogs have been able to find loving homes.

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