Governor Glenn Youngkin has picked new parole board members after Senate Democrats blocked his previous appointees.
“After the Democrats attempted to cover up a scandal of their own creation and keep individuals from receiving parole, it’s time to reform the Parole Board again and put the scandals behind us,” Youngkin said in a Wednesday press release.
Seven legislators have introduced 11 animal welfare bills in the Virginia General Assembly after investigations by PETA and the USDA found troubling conditions at a Cumberland beagle breeder-for-research. A newly-published report of an October 2021 site visit to the Envigo facility lists violations including staff providing medication without veterinarian approval, dangerous kennels blamed for deaths of multiple puppies, and buildup of grime and feces. Poor record-keeping was blamed for untreated medical conditions, unrecorded deaths, and an inability to determine cause of death in other cases.
“There continue to be severe staffing shortages and currently there are approximately 32 employees at the facility, with only 17 staff members directly responsible for all husbandry, daily observations, and medical treatments for almost 5000 dogs,” the report states.
“Mortality records show that from 2 Aug 2021 to 3 Oct 2021, nine dogs […] were injured from having a body part (such as a limb or tail) pulled through the wall of the kennel by a dog in an adjacent kennel and bitten. The exact injuries varied in each case, however regardless of whether it was a minor or substantial injury, these nine dogs were subsequently euthanized. Dogs sustaining injuries from being pulled through the enclosure wall have experienced physical harm and unnecessary pain,” the report states.
Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin is continuing his rollout of key administration announcements. On Monday, he announced that Youngkin campaign COO and Transition Director Jeff Goettman will be chief of staff. On Tuesday morning, he announced that Craig Crenshaw will be the Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs of Virginia. On Tuesday evening, he announced that USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service Chief Matt Lohr will serve as Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry.
Governor Ralph Northam announced newly-signed legislation Friday that will require approximately eight percent of model year 2025 vehicles sold in Virginia to be zero-emissions vehicles. HB 1965, introduced by Delegate Lamont Bagby (D-Henrico), adds Virginia to the list of states following California’s vehicle emissions standards, which are stricter than the federal standards Virginia currently follows.