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A contract research organization reached a final settlement with the U.S. government to transfer about 4,000 beagles from a facility in which federal authorities had found the dogs didn’t get sufficient veterinary care or food and were living in unsanitary conditions.

As part of the deal, Envigo signed a consent decree resolving a civil investigation into a breeding and testing facility in Cumberland, Va., where U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors repeatedly found serious problems that prompted the federal government to accuse the company of violating the Animal Welfare Act. The beagles will be transferred to the Humane Society of the United States for adoption, one of the largest such transfers the organization has ever undertaken, according to a spokesperson.


The settlement comes one month after Inotiv, which last November purchased Envigo, announced it would close the facility because further investment was needed for improvements. However, in a statement announcing the settlement, Inotiv noted that its Envigo subsidiary did not admit any wrongdoing or liability for the violations, and that no penalty or fine would be paid. We asked the Department of Agriculture about the lack of fines and penalties, and were referred us to the Department of Justice. We will pass along any reply.

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