2017 was a great session for Maryland’s animals! Thanks to your hard work and advocacy, here are the bills that passed:
Pets and First Responders– Gives First Responders civil immunity when they provide emergency medical care to animals in emergencies.
Cownose Rays Tournaments – Suspends these brutal contests while the Department of Natural Resources creates a species management plan.
Mandatory Veterinary Reporting– Requires veterinarians and shelter employees to report suspected animal abuse to law enforcement, similar to the child abuse reporting requirements.
Shelter Standards– This would strengthen the Shelter Standards Bill passed in 2016 by requiring county animal shelters and animal shelters who receive spay/neuter grants to follow minimum standards of care. Requires the Department of Agriculture to create regulations to enforce that requirement.
Commercial Dog Breeding Licensure – Lowers the threshold for commercial dog breeder state-required licensure from 15 intact female dogs to 6 breeding females.
Animal Abuse Compensation Fund – Establishes a fund to reimburse animal shelters for expensive costs of caring for animals seized in large-scale cruelty cases, like a puppy mill or animal fighting operation.
Prohibition of Non- Therapeutic Antibiotics – Restricts the use of antibiotics in farm animals unless they are deemed medically necessary.
Technical Fix to Animal Cruelty Law – Requires that deprivations listed as misdemeanors and acts of felony cruelty are listed as separate and distinct crimes.
Retail Pet Stores- Animal seller, Dog Cage Signs, and Records- Strengthens enforcement of last year’s Puppy Mill Law by requiring pet stores selling from USDA licensed breeders to post copies of their recent inspection reports. With the removal of these reports from the ASDA website, consumers will have access to information detailing if the breeders have Animal Welfare Act violations. Pet stores that get dogs from rescues or shelters must post the names and addresses of the animal rescues/shelters on the dogs’ cages.
Thanks and kudos to our sponsors: Delegate Clarence Lam, Senator Susan C. Lee, Delegate Shane Robinson, Senator Ron Young, Delegate Barbara Frush, Delegate Jim Gilchrist, Senator Brian Feldman, Delegate Aruna Miller, Senator Senator Rich Madaleno, Delegate Senator William C. Smith, Jr., Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary, and Delegate Benjamin F. Kramer.