Virginia Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin on Monday signed five “Beagle Bills” to prevent animal cruelty in his state after news last Fall that Dr. Anthony Fauci’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) was funding “cruel” animal experiments.
“Today’s remarkable achievement brought every single Republican and Democrat together to protect our four-legged constituents,” Youngkin wrote in a press release.
Two of the bills prohibit the sale of cats or dogs for “experimental purposes.”
One bill requires breeders that sell dogs or cats to an animal testing facility to give the animal up for adoption before euthanizing it if the laboratory no longer has need of the animal.
Another bill requires breeders of dogs and cats sold for experiments to keep records on their animals for two years after the sale.
The final bill limited the definition of research and animals in the Comprehensive Animal Care Law.
“This historic package of bills I signed today clarifies that dogs and cats bred and sold for experimental purposes are protected by Virginia’s cruelty-to-animals law, will help ensure welfare standards and save lives, and will give Virginia the authority to take action when welfare violations occur,” Youngkin said.
The animal rights group PETA celebrated the bills’ passage.
“Virginia made history today! PETA thanks Gov. Youngkin and the 140 members of the Virginia General Assembly who voted unanimously to protect dogs and cats bred for experimentation in our state. Once these laws go into effect, Envigo won’t be able to get away with depriving nursing mother dogs of food for days, letting puppies freeze to death or fall down drains and die, or allowing beagles to suffer with painful and untreated conditions. PETA is proud to call Virginia our home,” the group said in a press release.
PETA discovered a puppy mill with thousands of beagles in Cumberland, Va., last year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture then cited the breeder Envigo for more than two dozen violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
The legislation also comes after allegations surfaced last year that NIAID, under Fauci’s leadership, allocated taxpayer dollars to “cruel” experiments involving beagle puppies.