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Members of Congress speak out on behalf of beagles at Virginia Dog Breeding Facility

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Seven members of Congress spoke out this week on behalf of thousands of beagles living in deplorable conditions constantly reported at Virginia dog breeding with dozens of animal welfare violations.

Virginia Rep. Elaine G. Luria (D) and six other members of Congress sent a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), expressing concern that the agency had not “acted to end ongoing violations of Federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) in Envigo’s operations in Cumberland, Virginia.”

In the letter, they expressed concern that the agency has yet to suspend “Envigo’s license for 21 days or following protocol to confiscate animals suffering there.”

As of February 15, the Virginia General Assembly had passed several bills aimed at protecting the welfare of animals raised in research animal breeding facilities, after appalling conditions at a Cumberland beagle breeder were exhibited last year.

The bills seek to address the problem by providing heightened surveillance and consequences for animal welfare violations.

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Lawmakers have asked APHIS to provide their office with Envigo’s inspection reports that have yet to be released, along with a full timeline of when action will be taken.

The letter ends by saying the investigation had a ‘lack of timely follow-up’, which the reps wrote they did not expect when handing over the case – which included violations of the law. Federal – to APHIS.

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