CUMBERLAND, Va. (WRIC) — A new disturbing video from inside a dog breeding facility in Cumberland is causing concern.
The undercover video reveals dead and dying beagle dogs crammed into metal cages and allegedly deprived of food. The video from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) was allegedly captured by an investigator posing as an employee at the Envigo dog breeding facility.
“PETA has documented that more than 350 beagles at Envigo suffered and died,” said Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA’s Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations.
A staffer is also caught on camera admitting to depriving the dogs of food. In the video, they can be heard saying, “This week they did not get fed. If too many people know it, it’s going to get out that’s what we are doing and it’s going to get bad.”
After viewing the video, State Sen. Bill Stanley called the facility a puppy prison.
“All I can say is, after watching it, I am livid,” he said. “Everything that they allege that occurred and you see on the video, if it were outside the property, this would be a crime, it would be a felony.”
Envigo breeds and sells beagles for experimentation all over the world. A previous WRIC investigation uncovered a federal inspection of the facility in 2017 that found in sick and injured dogs lacked veterinary care. In this latest video, PETA alleges the staff seen administering drugs have zero veterinary credentials.
“It’s disturbing,” Stanley said.
Stanley has visited Envigo with other lawmakers and he didn’t like what he saw then. He’s tried to put legislation in place to stop it, now, calling this latest video “an embarrassment to the Commonwealth.” He said he’s drafting a new bill.
“I can promise you that we are working, as we speak, on legislation that is going to solve this problem,” Stanley said.
In a statement to WFXR’s sister station, WRIC, Envigo said “Many of these allegations we know to be misleading and lacking important context.” However, the company goes on to say it’s “launched an investigation to assess whether any improper actions occurred within the facility.”
Envigo said the use of these animals in research is essential to developing life-saving medicines, devices and vaccines. The USDA confirmed with WFXR’s sister station that the agency is aware of the situation and there was an inspection recently.
“I do not think that anything I saw in this video that can be justified,” Stanley said.
You can read Envigo’s full statement below:
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