‘Greta’s Law’ would require breeders to track dogs, cats sold for testing
Dels. Kaye Kory and Buddy Fowler have introduced a bill to require that breeders who sell or transfer dogs or cats to an animal testing facility keep records of each animal for two years from the date of sale or transfer.
Informally dubbed “Greta’s Law” after Fowler’s elderly beagle, the bill will require that these breeders report certain information to the State Veterinarian on a monthly basis, including the birth, acquisition, death or sale of a dog or cat in the prior month.
The Washington Post reported in December that a federal inspection at the Cumberland-based beagle breeder Envigo had found filthy conditions and incomplete records on the deaths of the dogs, including 300 puppies who had died of “unknown causes” in a seven-month period.
The inspection also found animals with fight wounds, eye conditions, severe dental disease and inflamed paws. Food was withheld for 42 hours from roughly a dozen dogs who were nursing 78 puppies.
The Post reported that a separate undercover investigation by PETA found “workers with no veterinary credentials sticking needles into puppies’ heads to drain hematomas without any pain relief for the animal, and cases in which puppies fell through holes in the cages and ended up in drains, soaked with water, feces and other waste.”
“Envigo has skirted accountability and their beagles continue to suffer for it,” said Kory. “We need data to understand the true extent of what is happening to these beagles, who are enduring deplorable conditions in Cumberland before being sold into animal testing because they are so good-natured. Something is horribly wrong when hundreds of sweet beagle puppies are dying of unknown causes. This industry needs reform, and reform starts with fully understanding the extent of the problem.”
“My girl Greta has hunted with me for the past 12 years,” said Fowler. “If she had been born at Envigo, she never would have known the joy of running through the woods or meeting new friends at the General Assembly. I am honored to be partnering with Delegate Kory in our effort to provide some accountability over breeders who sell their dogs and cats for animal testing.”
“Beagles at facilities like Envigo spend their whole lives in cages, deprived of the companionship and exercise that these social, active dogs need,” says Community Engagement Manager for the Humane Society of Fairfax County and Virginia Coalition for Beagle Protection representative Gina Lynch. “The Virginia Coalition for Beagle Protection thanks Del. Kory for her continued commitment to animal welfare and her determination to hold Envigo accountable for the recently-exposed deplorable conditions for dogs, which landed the company 26 citations for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act and an ongoing federal investigation.”
Kory is a longtime animal advocate who made a pledge to her late rescue dog Ben to create a more humane Virginia for animals. She founded the Animal Welfare Caucus in 2018 and has been recognized by organizations like PETA and the Humane Society for her sustained efforts to end animal cruelty in the Commonwealth. Her bill to ban the animal testing of cosmetics in Virginia took effect Jan. 1.