DOJ, Envigo Settlement Ends Beagle-Breeding-for-Testing at Cumberland Facility; ‘Huge Win for Humanity,’ Says Sen. Boysko

Envigo and DOJ officials announced a settlement in the government’s lawsuit against the Cumberland beagle-breeder-for-medical-testing; 4,000 beagles will be relinquished to the Humane Society of the United States and Envigo will be permanently prohibited from engaging in activity at the facility requiring an Animal Welfare Act license.

“This settlement brings to an end the needless suffering caused by Envigo’s blatant violations of animal welfare laws at this facility,”  Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) said in a Monday press release. “We will continue to vigorously enforce animal welfare laws to ensure that animals are provided the humane care that they are legally owed and deserve.”

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Youngkin Signs Bills Tightening Restrictions on Breeders-for-Testing as New USDA Report Reveals Envigo Euthanized Dogs Without Anesthetic

RICHMOND, Virginia – Flanked by beagles and legislators, Governor Glenn Youngkin signed five bills tightening regulations on dog and cat breeders, a reaction to dramatic reports at beagle breeder-for-medical-testing Envigo, but a full ban on breeding for testing faltered in February.

“This is an important signing ceremony. And it’s important because it signifies how we’re supposed to work together,” Youngkin said from the steps of the Executive Mansion on Monday. “Behind me represents a very diverse group of legislators, legislators that oftentimes find themselves on different sides of issues. And this particular set of circumstances brought people together to do the right thing, common ground, reaching across the aisle working constructively to get things done in a comprehensive way.”

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Federal Trial Begins for Florida’s Election Integrity Law

The federal trial has begun for Florida’s election integrity law, signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) last May. Before the law came into effect, it was known by its legislative number, SB 90. After DeSantis signed SB 90, numerous legal challenges were filed immediately.

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USDA Report Details More Violations at Beagle Breeder-For-Research Envigo; General Assembly Legislators Introduce 11 Bills to Regulate or Ban Practices at the Facility

Seven legislators have introduced 11 animal welfare bills in the Virginia General Assembly after investigations by PETA and the USDA found troubling conditions at a Cumberland beagle breeder-for-research. A newly-published report of an October 2021 site visit to the Envigo facility lists violations including staff providing medication without veterinarian approval, dangerous kennels blamed for deaths of multiple puppies, and buildup of grime and feces. Poor record-keeping was blamed for untreated medical conditions, unrecorded deaths, and an inability to determine cause of death in other cases.

“There continue to be severe staffing shortages and currently there are approximately 32 employees at the facility, with only 17 staff members directly responsible for all husbandry, daily observations, and medical treatments for almost 5000 dogs,” the report states.

“Mortality records show that from 2 Aug 2021 to 3 Oct 2021, nine dogs […] were injured from having a body part (such as a limb or tail) pulled through the wall of the kennel by a dog in an adjacent kennel and bitten. The exact injuries varied in each case, however regardless of whether it was a minor or substantial injury, these nine dogs were subsequently euthanized. Dogs sustaining injuries from being pulled through the enclosure wall have experienced physical harm and unnecessary pain,” the report states.

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Judge Sets Date for Challenge to Florida Election Integrity Law

Person voting in poll booth

Chief U.S. District Judge Mark Walker announced he would be hearing arguments next month over Florida’s most recent election integrity law, known in the Florida Legislature as SB 90. Walker rejected the state’s motion for a summary judgment and insisted on hearing the case.

The bill was passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). The new law adds requirements for ballot drop boxes and mail-in voting. For example, the drop boxes will have to be manned by a staff member at the supervisor of elections office, and voters will have to request mail-in ballots each election cycle every two years.

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Southern Poverty Law Center Files Latest Lawsuit Against Florida’s New Election Law

A far-left legal nonprofit has filed the latest lawsuit against the state of Florida over its new election integrity measures. 

“The lawsuit, filed on behalf of the groups HeadCount and the Harriet Tubman Freedom Fighters Corp., is the fourth challenge to the law, which was passed in April by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed in May by Gov. Ron DeSantis,” Orlando Weekly reported. 

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Florida Legislature Passes Voter ID Law

People voting

On the second-to-last day of the legislative session, the Republican-controlled Florida state Senate Thursday passed a new law aimed at election integrity. 

After SB 90 passed the Florida House Wednesday with a vote of 77-40, it did the same in the Senate Thursday by a vote of 23-17. It was passed mostly along partisan lines, with one Republican state Senator, Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg, breaking with his party and voting against the measure. 

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