A Virginia breeder of dogs instructed to pay an unprecedented fine of $35 million after the rescue of 4,000 beagles.

A record fine has been imposed on Envigo Global Services Inc. for violating the Animal Welfare Act. The company, located in Cumberland County, 64 miles east of Richmond, has pleaded guilty to the charges.

In 2022, the breeder surrendered the beagles.

The decision has been made by the company to cease breeding or selling dogs on their premises.

The Animal Welfare Act establishes the bare minimum requirements for the care of animals kept in captivity, utilized for research or educational purposes, or made available for purchase by the public.

According to federal agencies, Envigo RMS, a subsidiary of Inotiv similar to Envigo Global Services, neglected to provide proper veterinary care, staffing, and secure living conditions for the dogs residing at the facility.

According to the Department of Justice, Envigo Global Services was responsible for operating and maintaining the wastewater treatment plant at the facility. Unfortunately, their actions resulted in the unlawful discharge of untreated wastewater into a nearby waterway. This had a significant impact on the health and well-being of the dogs at the facility.

According to Assistant Administrator David M. Uhlmann from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, Envigo’s animal welfare crimes were compounded by serious Clean Water Act violations that posed a threat to public health and the welfare of their animals. This precedent-setting case was a disheartening experience for everyone involved, including the workers, beagles, environment, and community, all of whom deserved better. Envigo’s record fine is well-deserved, and they must be held accountable for their actions.

As part of their punishment, the entities have been sentenced to three to five years of probation and will be required to pay a criminal fine of $22 million, with $11 million for each violation.

As part of the settlement, Envigo has agreed to pay a sum of around $1.1 million to the Virginia Animal Fighting Task Force and roughly $1.9 million to the Humane Society of the United States as compensation for their invaluable assistance during the investigation.

The Department has announced that the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will receive $3.5 million to restore the environment and ecosystems in Cumberland County. At least $500,000 of the fund will be allocated towards purchasing riparian wetland or riparian land located within or in close proximity to Cumberland.

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MBS Staff
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