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Warner and Kaine Applaud Justice for Envigo Beagles

Following years of advocacy by the Senators on behalf of 4,000 abused dogs, Dept. of Justice imposes largest-ever fine in an animal welfare case

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) today applauded the announcement that Envigo – a breeding facility in Cumberland, Va. that engaged in egregious animal welfare violations – has plead guilty to felony violations of the Animal Welfare Act and Clean Water Act. This victory was made possible by Sens. Warner and Kaine, who began shedding light on this issue in 2022 and demanding federal action.

“Today’s settlement represents an enormous victory for animal welfare, as the perpetrators of horrific abuse against innocent dogs will pay a historic settlement for their negligence. After our advocacy for these animals, we’ve been deeply heartened to hear stories of their adoption into loving, safe homes, and this settlement takes another step critical towards justice. We’re glad to see Envigo held accountable for its crimes, and we’ll keep pushing to root out animal abuse across Virginia.”

In March of 2022, Sens. Warner and Kaine expressed horror and demanded immediate and aggressive action by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) following more than 70 animal welfare violations at the Envigo breeding and research facility in Cumberland. After these calls for action, the federal government stepped in, seizing 446 beagles in acute distress and eventually helping facilitate the surrender of nearly 4,000 dogs to the Humane Society of the Unites States (HSUS), which worked to place these dogs into homes.

Following this action, Envigo today pled guilty and agreed to pay $22 million in fines and $13.5 million to upgrade their facilities and support animal welfare and environmental projects. The settlement represents the largest-ever fine in an animal welfare case ever pursued by the Department of Justice. Envigo’s parent company, Inotiv, will face additional animal care standards and be assigned a compliance monitor.

Sen. Warner, a dog owner, has been an advocate for dogs in Virginia and throughout the country, earning a 100% on the Humane Society of the United States’ Humane Scorecard for 2021. In March, Sen. Warner secured the passage of new language requiring the Department of State to report on the status of dogs in the Explosive Detection Canine Program (EDCP). This program came under scrutiny in 2019 after an Inspector General (IG) report found that the Department failed to conduct proper follow-up after sending highly-trained dogs to foreign partner nations, resulting in the death of at least ten dogs from largely preventable illnesses.

Sens. Warner and Kaine—who have received perfect scores on the Humane Society of the United States’ Humane Scorecard in previous years—have been consistent cosponsors of the Puppy Protection Act, which would amend the Animal Welfare Act to include additional care and safety standards for dog breeders like Envigo. Under the bill, breeders would be required to house dogs in appropriately sized enclosures with solid ground and keep them on a regular diet and exercise routine. As Governor of Virginia, Kaine signed a law that imposed stricter legal penalties for dogfighting offenses.