CUMBERLAND, COUNTY Va. (WRIC) – After a federal judge ordered the Envigo facility to temporarily halt the breeding of beagles, the same judge could decide the fate of the operation on Monday, though already marred by allegations of improper care to dogs.
Hon. Norman Moon of the Federal Court for the Western District of Virginia 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 animal welfare law,” Moon said.
Hundreds of dogs have been seized after PETA went undercover, and 8News has investigated the complaints for years.
It remains unclear whether Envigo complied with the judge’s temporary restraining order. A statement shared to 8News on Friday by a spokesperson for the facility said: “The highest quality of animal welfare is a core value of our company and at the heart of our business…” “In accordance with the policy of the company, we are cooperating fully with the DOJ and other relevant authorities. As these are ongoing issues, Envigo will not provide further comment.
Michael Budkie of animal rights group Stop Animal Exploitation Now said “if they [Envigo] were actually committed to humane treatment of animals or professional standards or something like that, then this restraining order wouldn’t exist. They wouldn’t have all these violations.
“Close Envigo because that’s what should happen,” he added.
Several inspections by the United States Department of Agriculture have reported problems with the treatment of animals indoors, including dogs housed in excessive heat, kept away from food and living with rotting teeth.
Envigo’s statement acknowledged the recent inspections, but not the concerning details they found.
Monday’s federal hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Stick with 8News for this developing story.