Where: Maryland State
What: Maryland HB 1124 amends the current “Criminal Law – Possession of Dangerous or Wild Animals.” A very similar bill was filed in the Senate (SB 827 viewable at www.usark.org/2014-blog/2014-maryland-senate-bill-827-amendments/).
Both bills provide that unless you qualify for another exemption, holders of a Class C Exhibitors License (Animal Welfare Act, 7 U.S. C. Sec. 2131, et. seq.) would no longer be allowed to possess a nonhuman primate, bear, lion, tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, snow leopard, jaguar, cheetah, cougar, or a hybrid of one of these animals. AZA certified facilities would still be allowed to possess these animals, along with the remaining previously exempted owners, such as certain federally licensed research facilities, animal sanctuaries, animal control officers, veterinarians, nonresidents in Maryland for less than 11 days and circuses. Thus, Class C Exhibitors would still be allowed to possess crocodilians and venomous snakes. In other words, both bills would provide no change in the law regarding possession of reptiles.
Both of the bills provide that none of the exempted persons or entities listed above (nor anybody else) may allow a person to come in direct contact with any of the dangerous or wild animals below. And if a listed dangerous or wild animal potentially exposes anyone to rabies or other zoonotic disease by penetration or abrasion of the skin, the owner must report the potential exposure to the local animal control authority within 24 hours after the exposure. Animal sanctuaries and traveling circuses would be prohibited from allowing members of the public to be in proximity of the dangerous or wild animals listed below without protective barriers. The bills would prohibit an exempted person from allowing the public to have direct contact with crocodilians and poisonous [venomous] snakes (or any of the other listed animals below).
The House Bill provides a grandfather provision allowing a holder of a Class C Exhibitor’s license to continue to own a nonhuman primate, bear, lion, tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, snow leopard, jaguar, cheetah, or cougar owned on September 30, 2014.
The House Bill allows a Class C Exhibitor to replace a grandfathered animal as long as the Class C Exhibitor meets 5 listed criteria for the previous 3 years. allows for certain exemptions for AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) accredited institutions.
- allows for certain exemptions for a circus holding a Class C exhibitor’s license
- removes exemptions for an exhibitor licensed under the federal Animal Welfare Act
- does not allow members of the general public to be in proximity of certain animals
- no person may allow a member of the public to come into direct contact with any animal listed below
- increases restrictions on importation, sale and breeding of certain large mammals
Animals included under this law since 2006 are:
- fox, skunk, raccoon, or bear
- caiman, alligator, or crocodile
- member of the cat family other than the domestic cat
- hybrid of a member of the cat family and a domestic cat if the hybrid weighs over 30 pounds
- member of the dog family other than the domestic dog
- hybrid of a member of the dog family and a domestic dog
- nonhuman primate, including lemur, monkey, chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, marmoset, loris, tamarin
- poisonous snake in the family groups of Hydrophidae, Elapidae, Viperidae, or Crotolidae
- requires the owner of an animal to report potential exposure to zoonotic disease
View the current law (non-bold text), proposed amendments (bold text), and partial repeals (words in bold brackets “[ ]“) at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2014RS/bills/hb/hb1124t.pdf.
Sponsor Contact InformationDelegate Eric G. Luedtke: email@example.com Delegate Charles Barkley: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Ben Barnes: email@example.com Delegate Elizabeth Bobo: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Jon S. Cardin: email@example.com Delegate Alfred C. Carr, Jr.: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Steven J. DeBoy, Sr.: email@example.com Delegate Barbara Frush: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Jim Gilchrist: email@example.com Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Guy Guzzone: email@example.com Delegate Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Anne Healey: email@example.com Delegate Sheila E. Hixson: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Tom Hucker: email@example.com Delegate Wade Kach: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Ariana B. Kelly: email@example.com Delegate Benjamin F. Kramer: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate James E. Malone, Jr.: email@example.com Delegate Maggie McIntosh: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Herb McMillan: email@example.com Delegate Heather R. Mizeur: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Shane Robinson: email@example.com Delegate Samuel I. Rosenberg: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Shawn Z. Tarrant: email@example.com Delegate Frank S. Turner: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher: email@example.com Delegate Alonzo T. Washington: firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional Committee Member Contact Delegate C. T. Wilson: email@example.com Delegate Pamela Beidle: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Rudolph C. Cane: email@example.com Delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Patrick N. Hogan: email@example.com Delegate Marvin E. Holmes, Jr.: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Jay A. Jacobs: email@example.com Delegate Stephen W. Lafferty: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Doyle L. Niemann: email@example.com Delegate Wayne Norman: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Anthony J. O'Donnell: email@example.com Delegate Charles J. Otto: firstname.lastname@example.org Delegate Cathy Vitale: email@example.com Delegate Michael H. Weir, Jr.: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone Numbers and addresses can be found at www.mgaleg.maryland.gov/webmga/frmMain.aspx?id=HB1124&stab=01&pid=billpage&tab=subject3&ys=2014rs.