Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session Begins January 10, 2018

Maryland Votes for Animals 2018 Legislative Preview

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, February 14th for Humane Lobby Day! Stay tuned for details. #humane2018

Ban on Sourcing Dogs and Cats from Puppy Mills :This legislation would require that dogs and cats sold at pet stores to come from animal shelters or rescues. Although the Maryland General Assembly has strengthened Maryland’s laws the past two years regarding commercially-bred dogs sold at pet stores, a majority of pet stores have failed to comply with these new regulations. As a result, there is still a pipeline for dogs who have been subjected to the horrors of puppy mills to flow into Maryland. Sponsored by Delegate Kramer.

Humane Adoption of Companion Animals in Research:This legislation would help ensure that dogs and cats used as subjects at research facilities be given the opportunity to be adopted by a loving family after their term in research has been completed. If the animals are not euthanized at the end of the tests, these dogs and cats may be adopted out through private placement programs or approved SPCAs, humane societies and rescue organizations. This is the fourth year that this legislation has been introduced in Maryland. Sponsored by Delegate Kramer and Senate Hough.

Protection of Animals from Sexual Abuse:This legislation will clearly define what constitutes sexual abuse to animals so that individuals involved with animal sexual abuse, as well as those who allow or force others their pets to be sexually abused, can be properly penalized. Studies have shown that violence to animals has a direct correlation to abuse of children. Although Maryland Law criminalizes broadly “unnatural or perverted sexual practices”, the lack of clarity in the law has proven to be an obstacle for prosecutors of these horrendous cases. Sponsored by Delegate Atterbeary and Senator Lee.

Banning Elephants from Traveling Animal Acts:This legislation would prohibit the participation of elephants in traveling animal acts. Several independent circuses that come to Maryland use elephants despite violations of the Federal Animal Welfare Act and the threat to public health that this use of unpredictable wild animals poses. Four states, including New York and Illinois, as well as 130 municipalities have passed legislation addressing the abuse of wild animals in circuses. Sponsored by Delegate Aruna Miller.