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Company Fined $35M After 4,000 Beagles Rescued from Animal Testing Facility

In a landmark victory for animal rights, a Virginia-based breeding facility that once housed thousands of beagles destined for laboratory testing has been held accountable in a historic settlement. Inotiv, the parent company of Envigo, has agreed to pay over $35 million in fines following a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice. This settlement marks the largest fine ever imposed in an Animal Welfare Act case.

The investigation began with a search warrant executed at the Envigo RMS facility in Cumberland, Virginia, in May 2022. The conditions discovered were so dire that they prompted immediate action. In addition to the hefty fine, Inotiv will also compensate the Humane Society of the United States with approximately $1.9 million. This payment acknowledges the Humane Society’s crucial role in rescuing about 445 dogs and puppies who were in distress at the facility.

Adam Parascandola, vice president of the Humane Society of the United States’ Animal Rescue Team, reflected on the emotional journey that began two years ago when they first encountered the beagles. “Meeting those dogs for the first time was heart-wrenching,” he shared. “Our team worked tirelessly under challenging conditions to assess and rescue as many as we could initially. Knowing that nearly 4,000 beagles were still left behind was tough, but we held onto hope for their future.”

The subsequent rescue operations, spurred by the DOJ’s lawsuit which highlighted multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including inhumane euthanasia and inadequate care, eventually led to the freedom of the remaining beagles. These efforts were supported by over 120 shelter and rescue partners, ensuring that each dog found a loving forever home.

This case not only highlights the plight of animals in such facilities but also underscores the importance of accountability and rigorous enforcement of animal welfare laws. The Humane Society of the United States continues to work tirelessly to protect animals from cruelty and neglect.

For those moved by the story of these beagles and wishing to support or learn more about the efforts to protect animals across the country, visiting the Humane Society of the United States website provides resources and opportunities to help make a difference.

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