CUMBERLAND, Va. (WRIC) – A disturbing new video inside a dog farm in Cumberland raises concerns.
The undercover video reveals dead and dying beagle dogs crammed into wire cages and allegedly starved of food. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) video was allegedly filmed by an investigator posing as an employee of the Envigo dog farm.
“PETA has documented that over 350 beagles in Envigo suffered and died,” said Daphna Nachminovich, senior vice president of cruelty investigations at PETA.
A member of staff is also filmed admitting to depriving the dogs of food. In the video, they can be heard saying, “This week they were not fed. If too many people know it will come out, this is what we do and it will go wrong.
After viewing the video, State Senator Bill Stanley called the facility a puppy prison.
“All I can say is after watching it I’m livid,” he said. “Everything they claim to have happened that you see on the video, if it was outside the property it would be a crime, it would be a crime.”
Envigo breeds and sells beagles for experimentation around the world. A previous 8News survey found that a federal inspection of the facility in 2017 found sick and injured dogs lacking veterinary care. In this latest video, PETA alleges that staff seen administering medication have no veterinary qualifications.
“It’s disturbing,” Stanley said.
Stanley visited Envigo with other lawmakers and he didn’t like what he saw then. He has tried to put in place legislation to stop it, now, calling the latest video “embarrassment for the Commonwealth”. He said he was drafting a new bill.
“I can promise you that we are working, as we speak, on legislation that will solve this problem,” Stanley said.
In a statement to 8News, Envigo said: “Many of these allegations, we know, are misleading and lack important context.” However, the company goes on to say that it “has launched an investigation to assess whether inappropriate actions have taken place within the facility.”
Envigo said the use of these animals in research is essential in the development of life-saving drugs, devices and vaccines. USDA confirmed to 8News that the agency was aware of the situation and that there had been an inspection recently.
“I don’t think everything I saw in this video can be justified,” Stanley said.
You can read Envigo’s full statement below: