CUMBERLAND, Va. (WRIC) – Disturbing new video from inside a dog farm in Cumberland is concerning.
Undercover video reveals dead and dying beagle dogs crammed into metal cages and allegedly starved of food. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) video was allegedly captured by an investigator posing as an employee of dog-breeding facility Envigo.
“PETA has documented that over 350 beagles at Envigo suffered and died,” said Daphna Nachminovitch, senior vice president of cruelty investigations at PETA.
A member of staff is also filmed admitting to starving the dogs. In the video, they can be heard saying, “This week they haven’t been fed. If too many people know about it, it’s going to come out that’s what we do and it’s going to go wrong.
After viewing the video, State Senator Bill Stanley called the facility a puppy prison.
“All I can say is after watching it, I’m livid,” he said. “Everything that they claim happened that you see on the video, if it was outside the property, it would be a crime, it would be a crime.”
Envigo breeds and sells beagles for experimentation worldwide. A previous 8News investigation found that a 2017 federal inspection of the facility found sick and injured dogs lacking veterinary care. In this latest video, PETA alleges that the staff seen administering drugs have no veterinary credentials.
“It’s disturbing,” Stanley said.
Stanley visited Envigo with other lawmakers and he didn’t like what he saw then. He has tried to put in place legislation to stop it now, calling the latest video “an embarrassment to the Commonwealth”. He said he was drafting a new bill.
“I can promise you that we are working, as we speak, on legislation that will solve this problem,” Stanley said.
In a statement to 8News, Envigo said, “Many of these claims, we know, are misleading and lack important context.” However, the company goes on to say that it has “initiated an investigation to assess whether any inappropriate actions took place at the facility.”
Envigo said using these animals in research is key to developing lifesaving drugs, devices and vaccines. The USDA confirmed with 8News that the agency is aware of the situation and that there was an inspection recently.
“I don’t think anything I saw in this video can be justified,” Stanley said.
You can read Envigo’s full statement below: