In 2021, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) was exposed partaking in cruel research involving beagle puppies, which saw the defenseless animals subjected to torture – including having their ability to yelp removed so they would not cry out in pain as they were eaten alive by giant sandflies.
One such company that supplies beagles for research to institutions, Big Pharma, and universities, has been closed after it was discovered by inspectors that the facility had more than seventy animal welfare violations.
The facility based in Indianapolis – Envigo – announced it was closing its facility in Cumberland, Virginia through a statement from the president of Inotiv Inc., Envigo’s parent company.
Inotiv President and CEO Robert Leasure Jr. said, “Since the Envigo acquisition in November 2021, the Cumberland facility was recognized as needing improvements and investments. [However], the required investments to improve the facility and the lead time to achieve these improvements have recently increased. As a result, we have decided we will not be investing further in this facility, and it will be closed.”
“Operations at the Dublin site will be relocated to other facilities which have recently been expanded or refurbished,” Leasure said in his statement, regarding the purpose-bred rodent facility also located in Virginia. Leasure also noted that they will “implement an orderly closure plan” for the Cumberland facility.
Inspectors from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) documented more than 70 Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations there since July 2021.
Because of the violations, the state of Virginia enacted a law in April 2022 preventing Inotiv from selling more beagles if it committed one more serious violation after July 1, 2023.
Around 446 animals were seized by the Department of Justice (DOJ) after the animals at the facility were found to be “in acute distress” by veterinarians and now a lawsuit has been filed by the DOJ against Inotiv for violating AWA – only one month later.
There have been arguments on how the animals from the Cumberland facility should be disposed of – the company wanting to sell the beagles to research clients.
The DOJ, however, has demanded that Inotiv give the dogs away, in full compliance with the AWA.
U.S. District Court Judge Norman K. Moon ultimately permitted Envigo to fulfill existing research orders for more than five hundred beagles, stating that the company is not allowed to sell the remaining 2,700 beagles.
Animal Welfare Institute researcher Eric Kleiman said closing the Cumberland facility is not enough. He remarked: “What of the over 40,000 animals at [Inotiv’s] other sites? Given its shocking animal welfare record, we believe Inotiv’s license should be permanently revoked.”
Animal crime investigator Amy Katherine Taylor, who works with the office of Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, signed a declaration of facts that said she had witnessed cruelty and cramped conditions – some cages held up to ten dogs, who did not have access to food, water and often stood in their own excrement.
The investigator working on behalf of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) shared several accounts of cruel animal testing, being conducted at the Mount Vernon laboratory.
“The disturbing findings at this facility cannot be ignored,” said HSUS President and CEO Kitty Block. “We are calling for the release of beagles we know are suffering in the lab today and soon to be euthanized, but that is just the start of our work.”