The Maryland General Assembly Convenes on January 11, 2023

Animals Playing

The 2023 Session convenes on January 11, 2023 with a new Governor, many new legislators, and some significant changes in legislative committees. After last year’s successful session where we passed five priority bills, Maryland Votes for Animals looks forward to working with the 2023 Maryland General Assembly – and you – to promote legislation that will enhance animal welfare in Maryland.

Research Ban – End Unnecessary Animal Testing (Senator Kramer)

This bill would prohibit the use of animal testing where it is not required, such as: household cleaners, paint, and food additives. It would mandate stronger animal welfare standards as Maryland moves away from animal testing.   

Transition to Human Relevant Research (Senator Guzzone, Delegate Cullison)

This bill would establish a fee on animal testing to fund the expansion of human-relevant research and development of alternatives to animal testing.

End Confinement Practices (Senator Young, Delegate Guyton)

This bill would prohibit the cruel confinement of egg-laying hens in battery cages, typically the size of a standard iPad, where a hen is unable to spread its wings. It would allow Maryland to align with the market by ensuring these cages are prohibited for both the production and sale of eggs.

Maryland Spay/Neuter Fund (Senator Kagan, Delegates Lehman and Ruth)

The Maryland Spay/Neuter Fund provides competitive grants to local governments and non-profit animal welfare organizations for free spay and neuter services to low-income Marylanders and colonies of feral cats. It is funded by fees paid by pet food companies that sell products in our state. This bill would increase the fees paid by pet food companies to ensure that the funding is keeping up with inflation.

Evictions – Protections for Pet Owners (Senator Waldstreicher, Delegate Stein)

This bill creates a process that ensures pet owners are informed about their rights and responsibilities regarding their pets in the event of an eviction. Roughly 72% of renters have companion animals, and these Marylanders could be facing eviction in record numbers. They deserve common-sense protections for families and their pets when facing eviction.

Incentivizing Pet-Friendly Housing (Senator Jackson, Delegate D. Jones)

This bill would advance solutions to address the shortage of affordable housing that allows families to keep their pets with them. No family should have to choose between their pets and a home.

Wildlife Advisory Commission (Senator Brooks, Delegate Palakovich Carr)

This bill would define the membership of Maryland’s Wildlife Advisory Commission to include biologists, conservationists, and recreational users as well as hunters to make balanced decisions regarding hunting, trapping, and fishing.

Trapping Reforms (Senator Bailey, Delegate Love)

This bill would require that all traps are tagged with the name, license (if applicable), and contact for the trapper who set it. It would ensure that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is promoting the Wildlife Crime Stoppers hotline to report trapping incidents.

Bear Conflict Prevention (Senator West, Delegate Love)

This bill would update the Black Bear Damage Restitution Fund to be a proactive tool to fund conflict avoidance. It would open the fund to residents and towns as well as farmers.

Veterinary Shortage (Senator Young, Delegate Terrasa)

This bill would create a certification process to allow qualified individuals such as veterinary technicians to give rabies vaccines and require reciprocity to allow out-of-state veterinarians to practice in Maryland if they are working with a shelter or rescue. The veterinary shortage is impacting pet owners everywhere, but nowhere is the need more critical than for shelters and rescues.

Let your legislators know which animal issues matter to you! Sign up for Maryland Votes for Animals Action Alerts: https://voteanimals.org/sign-up-take-action/   

Join us for the Humane Lobby Day Webinar Overview, January 24th at 5:30 via Zoom!  Registration is open: Humane Lobby Day Overview Webinar: https://tinyurl.com/ycxw6vsh

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