Envigo and DOJ officials announced a settlement in the government’s lawsuit against the Cumberland beagle-breeder-for-medical-testing; 4,000 beagles will be relinquished to the Humane Society of the United States and Envigo will be permanently prohibited from engaging in activity at the facility requiring an Animal Welfare Act license.
“This settlement brings to an end the needless suffering caused by Envigo’s blatant violations of animal welfare laws at this facility,” Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) said in a Monday press release. “We will continue to vigorously enforce animal welfare laws to ensure that animals are provided the humane care that they are legally owed and deserve.”
After a court decided to allow dog-breeder-for-testing Envigo to fulfill existing contracts to sell its dogs amid an ongoing federal lawsuit, 29 Virginia legislators and federal prosecutors are working to block the sale of what prosecutors say is 2,200 beagles, including 1,200 to international customers.
In a motion for clarification U.S. prosecutors filed Friday, prosecutors suggest that Envigo misled the court about the number of dogs it intended to sell.
USDA agents and other authorities raided beagle-breeder-for-testing Envigo’s Cumberland facility and seized 145 dogs that were in “acute distress” on Wednesday, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia Christopher Kavanaugh.
The attorney is representing the U.S. against Envigo, alleging that the breeder is violating the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
“In less than a year, the company has amassed over 60 citations for non-compliance with the AWA, which have affected thousands of beagles. More than half of those citations were deemed ‘critical’ or ‘direct,’ the most serious types of AWA citation,” the complaint states. ” As relevant here, a ‘critical’ noncompliance is one that has a ‘serious or severe adverse effect on the health and well-being of the animal[s].’ [….] A ‘direct’ noncompliance is a critical noncompliance that is having a serious or severe adverse effect on the health and well-being of the animal at the time of the inspection.”
President Joe Biden has announced his nominees for United States Attorney for the Western and Eastern Districts of Virginia. Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) Jessica Aber and Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Virginia (WDVA) Christopher Kavanaugh were on a list of two candidates for each seat recommended by Virginia Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner.
“We are pleased that the President has nominated Ms. Aber and Mr. Kavanaugh to fill these vacancies,” the senators said in a joint press release. “After a thorough review of their distinguished records, we believe they will serve Virginia and the country with distinction. We hope our colleagues will join us to support these well-qualified nominees to be U.S. Attorneys in the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia.