US Senses Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) released the statement below, celebrating the rescue of hundreds of dogs in acute distress from the Envigo breeding facility in Cumberland, Virginia. According to a joint petition filed by Envigo and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in the US District Court for the Western District of Virginia, Envigo released 446 beagles following their seizure by federal agents. The joint petition also extends the temporary restraining order against Envigo for 14 days to prevent the breeding, sale or other transaction of beagles at the Cumberland facility until Envigo demonstrates compliance with the law. on animal welfare.
“We are thrilled to report that nearly 450 innocent dogs are finally freed from abuse and neglect after being seized by federal officials and released by Envigo. We have spent months lobbying the Department of Agriculture to take action against Envigo over its persistent and flagrant abuses of animal welfare laws, and we are pleased to see the efforts of application bear fruit. We will continue to follow this matter closely and do everything in our power to prevent Envigo from causing further harm to innocent animals.
In March, Sens. Warner and Kaine expressed their horror and demanded immediate and aggressive action from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) following more than 70 animal welfare violations at the breeding center and Envigo Research in Cumberland. In a letter to APHIS Administrator Kevin Shea, the senators urged APHIS to immediately suspend the license of Envigo’s Cumberland facility, condemning the “persistent and egregious” abuses that have resulted in the distress, injury and death of dogs and puppies.
Senator Warner, a dog owner, has been an advocate for dogs in Virginia and across the country, earning 100% on the Humane Society of the United States’ humane scorecard for 2021. In March, Senator Warner secured the adoption of a new language requiring the State Department to report on the status of dogs in Explosives Detection Canine Program (EDCP). This program came under scrutiny in 2019 after an Inspector General (IG) report found the Department failed to do proper follow-up after sending highly trained dogs to countries. foreign partners, resulting in the deaths of at least ten dogs from largely preventable diseases. .
Meaning. Warner and Kaine have been regular co-sponsors of the Puppy Welfare Actwhich would change the Animal Welfare Act to include additional care and safety standards for dog breeders like Envigo. Under the bill, breeders would be required to house dogs in appropriately sized pens with solid flooring and maintain them with a regular diet and exercise routine. As Governor of Virginia, Kaine signed legislation that imposed stricter legal penalties for dogfighting offenses.