Judge prohibits Envigo from breeding and selling dogs to labs; Criminal charges still possible

For immediate release:
July 18, 2022

Tasgola Bruner 202-483-7382

Lynchburg, Virginia. – In a consent decree executed in the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) civil case against Envigo, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon ruled definitely banned Envigo for “any activity requiring [a federal Animal Welfare Act] Licence” at the Cumberland Beagle Breeding Factory and Laboratory, including the breeding and breeding of dogs for sale and animal experimentation. Envigo’s parent company, Inotiv, announced in June that it would close the facility.

The Decree of Consent leaves open the possibility that Envigo and/or its employees may be accused of crimes and “does not bind any criminal prosecuting authority, whether federal, state or local”. The agreement authorizes the US Marshals Service to “deploy all lawful means necessary to ensure…the safety of all persons…involved in” the rescue of the approximately 4,000 surviving beagles from the Cumberland site. Any violation of the agreement, which effectively resolves the DOJ’s civil case against Envigo, could result in contempt of court penalties.

“PETA’s investigation and complaint prompted dozens of citations that U.S. attorneys and the court relied on to file this precedent-setting case and order its termination,” said Daphna Nachminovitch, senior vice president of investigations. on the cruelty of PETA. “As the surviving victims of Envigo finally have the long-awaited opportunity to enjoy life as part of a family, we hope that the company and its management will be held criminally responsible for withholding for days food to starving female dogs and letting puppies fall down the drain and die, for which any ordinary resident of Virginia would be prosecuted.

On July 5, Moon approved the DOJ and Envigo’s joint transfer plan for the Humane Society of the United States to remove all surviving dogs – approximately 4,000 – from the Cumberland facility within 60 days so that they can be adopted. Once the rescue is complete, the DOJ will dismiss its May 19 lawsuit against Envigo. The complaint alleged that Envigo violated federal law and prompted Moon to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the company. Simultaneously, the DOJ and other federal and state law enforcement agents seized 446 beagles found in “acute distress” from Envigo.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, “animals are not ours to experiment with”—conducted a seven months undercover investigation in Envigo. Broadcast-quality video footage of the group’s investigation is available here, and photographs are available here. For more information about PETA’s news gathering and investigative reporting, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, FacebookWhere instagram.