RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Seven members of Congress have spoken out this week on behalf of the thousands of beagles living in persistently reported deplorable conditions at a Virginia dog breeding facility with dozens of animal welfare violations.

Virginia representative Elaine G. Luria (D) and six other members of Congress sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), pressing their concern that the agency had not “acted to abate persistent violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) at Envigo’s operations in Cumberland, Virginia.”

In the letter, they expressed concern that the agency has not yet suspended “Envigo’s license for 21 days or following protocol to confiscate animals who are suffering there.”

As of Feb. 15, the Virginia General Assembly had passed several bills designed to protect the welfare of animals raised in research animal breeding facilities, after deplorable conditions at a Cumberland beagle breeder were exposed last year.

The bills are seeking to address the problem by providing for increased oversight and consequences for animal welfare violations.

Previous Reporting:

The lawmakers asked for APHIS to provide their office with inspection reports of Envigo that have not yet been posted, as well as a complete timeline as to when action will be taken.

The letter ends by saying the investigation has had a “lack of timely follow-through,” which the representatives wrote they were not expecting when entrusting the case — which included violations of federal law — to APHIS.

  • Envigo dog breeding facility photo from PETA