The 2016 Maryland General Assembly Session begins on January 13th and it is time to gear up for 12 weeks of action! Maryland Votes For Animals, Inc. has been working with legislators and animal advocates to get strong laws passed for the animals in 2016. With the collective voice of animal advocates like you, we can improve the lives and treatment of animals across Maryland.
There will be several important animal protection bills in 2016, including these two critical pieces of legislation:
Dog fighting Paraphernalia Bill
This legislation will close a serious loophole in Maryland’s dogfighting law and protect our communities from violent crime. At least 16 states, including neighboring Pennsylvania and Virginia, prohibit animal fighting paraphernalia, but it is not a crime in Maryland. The dogs, cats, and animals used in dogfighting are subject to unimaginable abuse, and dogfighting brings violence and gang crime to our communities. Closing this loophole is critically important to ending this violent crime. You can learn more about Maryland dogfighting HERE.
Puppy Mill Bill
This legislation will help stop the cruel puppy mill trade and protect Maryland consumers from fraudulent sales and sick animals. Flea market/roadside sales are an unregulated market for inhumane puppy mills to sell cats and dogs. Several jurisdictions, including neighboring Virginia, have passed strong laws restricting these sales. These laws also limit sales by persons who have violated the Federal Animal Welfare Act, or who are Class B dealers or “puppy brokers.” These protections will crack down on puppy mills which are notorious for the cruel and inhumane treatment of animals.
You can learn more about the connection between Puppy Mill Cruelty and flea markets HERE
Strong Animal Protection Laws Are Needed in Maryland
There will be additional animal protection issues coming up, including Puppy/Kitten Health Certificates, Farm Animal Antibiotics, and the State Ivory Ban.
The legislature is in session for only 90 days so there is plenty to do in a very short period of time. Everyone’s voice is critically important to ensuring Maryland’s animals are protected from cruelty.
Best wishes for a joyous holiday season! Please consider a gift to Maryland Votes For Animals, Inc. Your generosity will enable us to continue working to protect animals and to elect humane legislators who are willing to champion and vote for strong animal protection laws in Maryland.
Lisa G. Radov
Chairman, Maryland Votes For Animals, Inc.
P.S. Mark Your Calendars for our two lobby days! Join fellow animal advocates and speak directly to your legislators about animal protection in Maryland!
Voices for Animals Lobby Day – Thursday, February 4, 2016 – Click HERE to Register!
Humane Lobby Day – Thursday, February 25, 2016 – Stay tuned for more info soon!