Research dog-breeding facility run by Indianapolis firm to be sold

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West Lafayette-based Inotiv Inc. said it will close two animal-breeding facilities in Virginia operated by its Indianapolis-based subsidiary, Envigo RMS.

One of the facilities is a dog-breeding facility in Cumberland County that is the subject of a lawsuit alleging animal welfare law violations. A federal judge issued an emergency order late last month imposing a series of restrictions on the facility after regulators said the site was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of beagle puppies.

Envigo breeds beagles for medical research at the Cumberland facility. It has housed up to 5,000 beagles in the last year.

Inotiv said the closure of the Cumberland facility, as well as a rodent-breeding facility in Dublin, Virginia, is part of a restructuring following the company’s $545 million acquisition of Envigo last November.

According to the lawsuit filed last month, multiple federal inspections resulted in dozens of violations, including findings that dogs had received inadequate medical care and insufficient food, were housed in filthy conditions, and some had been euthanized without first receiving anesthesia.

The inspections also found hundreds of dogs dead at the facility. Officials also recently seized 145 beagles in “acute distress” at the facility.

Inotiv CEO Robert Leasure said in Monday’s announcement that the company recognized the need for improvements and investments at the facility.

“Inotiv has been pleased with the continued and significant progress in improvements at the Cumberland facility since the acquisition, as evidenced by recent inspections by the USDA and other auditing organizations,” Leasure said in written remarks. “The required investments to improve the facility and the lead time to achieve these improvements have recently increased. As a result, we have decided we will not be investing further in this facility, and it will be closed.”

Leasure said the Cumberland facility accounts for less than 1% of the company’s total revenue and has not contributed to profits since the Envigo acquisition.

Inotiv said production at the Dublin facility will be relocated to other facilities that have been recently expanded or been refurbished.

The transitions are expected to be complete by December. Inotiv did not specify if any jobs would be affected.

Envigo was founded in 2015 through the merger of Indianapolis-based Harlan Laboratories Inc. and United Kingdom-based Huntingdon Life Sciences. Harlan, founded in 1931, was one of the world’s largest suppliers of laboratory animals, with facilities throughout the world.

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