More than 4,000 beagles raised to be used in US drug trials were rescued from a breeding facility in Virginia
- More than 4,000 beagles were saved from being used in US drug trials earlier this week.
- The dogs were removed from a Virginia breeding facility by animal rescue organizations.
More than 4,000 beagles were saved from a breeding facility in Virginia, which would have sold the dogs to laboratories for US drug experiments, Reuters reported.
Animal rescue organizations are working to remove the thousands of beagles from the facility in Cumberland County, Virginia, which was supposed to be shut down due to alleged animal rights violations.
In May, the company that owned the facility, Envigo RMS, was sued by the Department of Justice, which accused the company of animal cruelty after inspectors found that some dogs were being killed instead of given veterinary care, according to a report by BBC, and at least 25 dogs died in the facility due to cold exposure.
Inspectors also reported that the dogs were being fed food covered in maggots, mold, and feces, and some dogs who were nursing were denied food at all, BBC reported.
Envigo RMS denied the allegations, but its parent company Inotiv Inc ordered Envigo RMS to close the Cumberland breeding facility in June, according to Reuters. In July, Envigo RMS reached a settlement with the government without paying any fines, and the DOJ announced the transfer of the dogs to get them treatment and put them up for adoption.
"It's going to take 60 days to get all of these animals out" and to work with shelters and rescue partners to find adoptive families, Kitty Block, president and chief executive of the US Humane Society, told Reuters.
The beagles were sent to adoption centers across the US, from Chino Hills, California; to Elgin, Illinois; to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Beagles are one of the most common dog breeds used for pharmaceutical trials because they are small and docile, according to the American Anti-Vivisection Society, an organization that advocates against drug trials on animals.
"The most common breed of dog used for experiments are beagles, but not because scientists view them as the best model for human disease," according to the organization's website. "Rather, beagles are convenient to use because they are docile and small, allowing for more animals to be housed and cared for using less space and money."
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