CUMBERLAND, COUNTY Va. (WRIC) — After a federal judge ordered the Envigo facility temporarily halt the breeding of beagles, the same judge could decide the operation’s fate on Monday, though already marred with allegations of improper care of canines.
Hon. Norman Moon of Virginia’s Western District Federal Court issued a temporary restraining order on the facility in late May after a recent federal inspection. “The Government has provided sufficient evidence that Envigo is engaged in serious and ongoing violations of the Animal Welfare Act,” Moon stated.
Hundreds of dogs have been seized after PETA went undercover, and 8News investigated complaints for years.
It remains unknown if Envigo complied with the judge’s temporary restraining order. A statement shared to 8News Friday by a facility spokesperson said, “The highest quality of animal welfare is a core value of our company and central to our business…” “Consistent with company policy, we are fully cooperating with DOJ and other involved authorities. As these are ongoing matters, Envigo will not provide further comment.”
Michael Budkie with the animal welfare group ‘Stop Animal Exploitation Now’ said “if they [Envigo] were actually committed to the humane treatment of animals or professional standards or anything remotely like that, then this restraining order wouldn’t exist. They wouldn’t have all these violations.“
“Closing Envigo down because that’s what should happen,” he added.
Several inspections from the US Department of Agriculture cited problems with the treatment of animals within, including dogs housed in excessive heat, kept away from food and living with decaying teeth.
The statement from Envigo did acknowledge the recent inspections, but not the concerning details they found.
Monday’s federal hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Stay with 8News for this developing story.