Judge issues order against Virginia dog breeder


CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Virginia (AP) – A federal judge has issued an emergency order imposing a series of restrictions on a Virginia dog farm after regulators said the site was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of beagle puppies.

The restraining order issued on Saturday comes after federal officials accused the Envigo RMS facility in Cumberland County of a series of animal welfare violations in a lawsuit filed Thursday. Authorities seized nearly 150 beagles at the site.

Envigo, headquartered in Indianapolis, breeds beagles for medical research at the Cumberland facility. It has housed up to 5,000 beagles last year.

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U.S. District Judge Norman Moon said evidence from federal inspections shows more than 300 beagle puppies have died there in the past seven months from unknown causes. He also said in his order that nursing beagles were denied adequate food and that puppies were euthanized without anesthesia.

The company released a statement on Saturday denying the allegations and stating that “animal welfare is a core value of our society.”

Envigo was also the subject of a secret investigation last year by Norfolk-based animal rights group PETA, which uncovered similar abuse.

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