Five Animal Bills Pass the Maryland General Assembly in 2022
Thanks to YOU, our dedicated team of advocates, organizations, and legislators, 2022 was a HISTORIC year for animals in Maryland! FIVE bills passed that greatly improve the welfare of animals in our state. In a definitive show of support for animal welfare in Maryland and beyond, Governor Hogan has signed all five bills.
Cat Declaw Prohibition (SB67/HB22) Senator Cheryl Kagan/Delegate Lorig Charkoudian Maryland becomes the second state to ban this cruel and painful procedure except in medically necessary circumstances that involve the health of the cat. New York outlawed elective declawing in 2019. Fourteen US cities have banned the practice including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh. Elective declawing is illegal in most of Europe as well as in Brazil, Israel, Australia, and New Zealand.
Shelter for Dogs in Extreme Weather (SB44/HB16) Senator Chris West/Delegate Mary Lehman – Requires that dogs left unattended in extreme weather have suitable shelter. This bill provides minimum standards to ensure that dogs are protected from the hazards of being left outdoors in adverse weather conditions, the number one complaint heard by animal control agencies in our state.
Wildlife Trafficking Prevention– (SB381/HB52) Senator Will C. Smith/Delegate Sara Love Prohibits the sale of parts or products from a list of 15 endangered or threatened wildlife species such as elephants, giraffes, and pangolins. Federal law already prohibits the import of these parts or products and their sale across state lines. Maryland joins 13 States and the District of Columbia in prohibiting these sales within our borders.
Cost of Animal Care (SB877/HB1062) Senator Jeff Waldstreicher /Delegate David Moon Requires individuals whose animals have been seized due to charges of cruelty or severe neglect to pay the cost of caring for the animals while the case is pending, lessening the cost burden on the shelter that cares for them, and potentially providing opportunities to be adopted into loving homes if the owner does not want to retain ownership while the case is pending. Maryland joins 38 states, including our neighbors, in passing this legislation.
Maryland Spay/Neuter Fund Extension- (SB206/HB191) Department of Agriculture/Delegate Mary Lehman – Authorizes the Maryland Spay/Neuter Fund for another ten years. Maryland was the first state to create this program in 2013 that uses fees paid by pet food companies for competitive grants to local governments and non-profit animal welfare organizations to provide free and spay and neuter services to dogs and cats of low income Marylanders and to colonies of feral cats. The Maryland Spay/Neuter Fund has financed almost 90,000 surgeries in the last ten years and decreased discretionary euthanasia of shelter animals by 55%.
We could not have accomplished these monumental victories without your grassroots support. Your calls, emails, and visits to your legislators sent a powerful message: Animal issues matter to voters! DONATE and make a difference today! Maryland Votes For Animals, Inc. is committed to making Maryland a safer place for animals through political action and humane legislation. Your contribution will provide critical support for our mission and ensure that your voice for animals is heard in the Maryland General Assembly!
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