U.S. Fines Animal Breeder Record $35 Million After Mistreating Thousands Of Beagles

Top line

Envigo, an animal breeding company, will pay a record fine after pleading guilty to animal welfare and environmental crimes, the Justice Department announced Monday, following a years-long investigation into the company after more than 4,000 beagles were rescued from one of its breeding facilities. .

Key facts

Envigo, a subsidiary of pharmaceutical company Inotiv, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Animal Welfare Act and conspiracy to violate the Clean Water Act, the Justice Department said. He said.

According to the Department of Justice, the company failed to provide adequate veterinary care, appropriate staffing, and safe living conditions for dogs housed at its breeding facility in Cumberland, Virginia, and failed to meet minimum standards under the Animal Welfare Act.

Invigo frequently euthanized puppies without anesthesia, failed to provide veterinary care, underfed mothers while caring for their pups, and failed to document the cause of death for hundreds of puppies, according to the indictment.

As part of the plea agreement, Invigo will be prohibited from keeping dogs and placed on probation for up to five years.

Inotive said in a statement The company “did not adhere to our standards regarding animal welfare and the environment,” adding that it had apologized to the public “for the harm caused by our behavior.”

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Huge number

35 million dollars. That’s the amount Envigo will pay as part of the plea agreement, according to the Department of Justice. This includes two fines totaling $11 million, the largest penalty ever by the Department of Justice in an animal welfare case. Envigo will also pay $3 million to two anti-animal abuse organizations, $3.5 million to help with environmental restoration in Cumberland and $7 million to improve the company’s facilities to “exceed” standards required by the Animal Welfare Act.

Main background

The Justice Department opened an investigation into Invygo in 2022, after inspections by federal regulators found that the company failed to provide adequate care for beagles at its breeding facility. Envigo then turned over more than 4,000 beagles to the Department of Justice, which in turn distributed the dogs to various animal rescue organizations. Facility inspections is found More than 500 puppies and dogs inside one building felt “disturbed, lethargic or stressed” because the temperature was above 85 degrees for at least five hours without air conditioning. Prosecutors also alleged that Invygo refused to fire a veterinarian despite complaints of poor handling of surgeries on five dogs, prosecutors said. Reuters.

Surprising fact

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle adopted One of the rescued beagles — a 7-year-old female named Mia — shortly after the dogs were seized from the Invigo facility.

In-depth reading

ReutersAmerican breeder Invigo has pleaded guilty to mistreating beagles, receiving the largest fine ever

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