University of Vermont AAHS

Maryland Cruelty to Animals Statutes


MARYLAND STATUTES
AGRICULTURE.
TITLE 2. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
Subtitle 7. State Board of Inspection of Horse Riding Stables.


2-701 Definitions.

(a) In general. -- In this subtitle, the following words have the meanings indicated.

(b) Board. -- "Board" means the Maryland Horse Industry Board.

(c) Boarding stable. -- "Boarding stable" means an establishment that stables five or more horses and receives compensation for these services.

(d) Equine dealer and breeding stables. -- "Equine dealer and breeding stables" includes an establishment in which five or more horses are sold each year.

(e) Horse. -- "Horse" includes horses and ponies.

(f) Horse riding and rental stables. --
(1) "Horse riding and rental stables" means an establishment in connection with which one or more horses are let for hire to be ridden or driven, either with or without the furnishing of riding or driving instruction.
(2) "Horse riding and rental stables" includes: (i) Boarding stables; (ii) Equine dealer and breeding stables; and (iii) Sales barns.

(g) Sales barns. -- "Sales barns" includes an establishment where horses are sold.


2-702 Exemptions.

Horse racing and standardbred stables and farms using horses for agricultural purposes are not subject to the provisions of this subtitle.


2-704 Composition of Board; oath; terms; removal of member.

(a) Composition. --
(1) The Board consists of 12 members, 11 of whom shall be appointed by the Governor with the advice of the Secretary.
(2) Of the Board members:
(i) One shall be a duly qualified and licensed veterinarian;
(ii) One shall be an officer of a county humane society;
(iii) One shall be an owner of a licensed stable;
(iv) One shall be a public member;
(v) One shall be a representative of the Maryland Horse Council, Inc.;
(vi) One shall be a representative of the trails and recreational riding community;
(vii) One shall represent the organized competitions and shows industry;
(viii) One shall represent the Maryland thoroughbred industry;
(ix) One shall represent the Maryland standardbred industry;
(x) One shall represent the academic equine community; and
(xi) One shall represent the equine trade and support industries.
(3) The Secretary, or the Secretary's designee, shall serve as an ex officio member of the Board.

(b) Oath. -- Before taking office, each appointee to the Board shall take the oath required by Article I, 9 of the State Constitution.

(c) Terms. --
(1) The term of a member is 4 years.
(2) The terms of members are staggered as required by the terms provided for members of the Board on July 1, 1980.
(3) At the end of a term, a member continues to serve until a successor is appointed and qualifies.
(4) A member who is appointed after a term has begun serves only for the rest of the term and until a successor is appointed and qualifies.

(d) Removal. -- The Governor may remove a member for incompetency or misconduct.


2-705 Chairman and officers.

(a) Chairman. -- From among its members, the Board shall elect a chairman.

(b) Officers. -- The manner of election of officers and their terms of office shall be as the Board determines.


2-706 Meetings; expenses; staff.

(a) Meetings. -- The Board shall determine the times and places of its meetings.

(b) Expenses. -- A member of the Board:
(1) May not receive compensation; but
(2) Is entitled to reimbursement for expenses under the Standard State Travel Regulations, as provided in the State budget.

(c) Staff. -- The Board may employ a staff in accordance with the State budget.


2-707 Authority of Secretary; rules and regulations.

(a) Authority of Secretary. -- The powers and duties vested in the Board by the provisions of this subtitle are subject to the power and authority of the Secretary.

(b) Rules and regulations. -- In addition to the powers set forth elsewhere in this subtitle, the Board may: (1) Adopt rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this subtitle, including: (i) Filing applications for licenses; and (ii) The qualifications of applicants; and (2) Set standards to create classes of licenses under this subtitle.

 

2-708.1 Duties of Board.
The Board shall:

(1) Carry out the licensing, inspection, and enforcement provisions of this subtitle;

(2) Advise the Department regarding matters affecting the horse industry in the State;

(3) Support research related to equine health and related issues;

(4) Promote the development and use of horses in the State;

(5) Create public awareness of the value of equine activities as they relate to the preservation of green space and agricultural land; and

(6) Develop and disseminate information concerning the equine industry, including the history and tradition of breeding and the role of horses in recreational activities.


2-709 Inspectors.

(a) Appointment of inspector. --
(1) The Board, with the approval of the Secretary, may appoint a qualified inspector to act as its agent and make inspections throughout the State.
(2) The inspector is entitled to: (i) A salary in accordance with the State budget; and (ii) Reimbursement for expenses under the Standard State Travel Regulations, as provided in the State budget.

(b) Designation of agents to make inspections. --
(1) The Board may designate officers of county humane societies, societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or licensed veterinarians to: (i) Act as its agent; and (ii) Make routine inspections.
(2) An inspector designated under paragraph (1) of this subsection: (i) May not receive compensation; but (ii) Is entitled to reimbursement for expenses under the Standard State Travel Regulations, as provided in the State budget.


2-710 License required.

(a) In general. -- Except as otherwise provided in this subtitle, a person may not engage in the business of operating or maintaining any horse riding stable unless the person has received a license and a certificate issued by the Board.

(b) Exception. -- This section does not apply to a holder of a livestock dealer's or livestock market license issued under Title 3, Subtitle 3 of this article. However, a holder of a livestock dealer's or livestock market license shall comply with the other provisions of this subtitle.


2-711 Application for license; inspection fee.

To apply for a license, an applicant shall: (1) Submit an application to the Board on the form that it requires; and (2) Pay to the Board a nonrefundable inspection fee of $25.


2-712 Expiration and renewal of license.

(a) Expiration. -- A license expires on the June 30 after its effective date, unless the license is renewed for a 1-year term as provided in this section.

(b) Renewal. -- Before his license expires, a licensee periodically may renew his license for additional 1-year terms, if the licensee: (1) Otherwise is entitled to be licensed; (2) Pays to the Board a renewal fee of $50; and (3) Submits to the Board a renewal application on the form that it requires.


2-713 Inspections; creation of classes of licenses.

(a) Annual inspection. -- Each horse riding stable licensed under this subtitle shall be inspected at least annually.

(b) Inspection fee. -- Each licensee shall pay to the Board annually an inspection fee of $25.

(c) Additional inspection fees. -- If more than one inspection is necessary in any licensing period, the licensee shall pay an additional inspection fee of $25 for each inspection. If, after three inspections, existing deficiencies have not been corrected by the licensee, the Board shall bring formal charges against the licensee, and an administrative hearing shall be held in order to determine if the license should be suspended or revoked for any of the reasons listed in s 2-715 of this subtitle.

(d) Grounds for additional inspection. -- An inspection shall be deemed necessary if, during a previous inspection, deficiencies are found and the licensee has not submitted evidence to the Board within a reasonable period of time that satisfactory corrective measures have been completed.

(e) Creation of classes of licenses. -- Based on criteria it develops, the Board may create additional classes of licenses, all of which shall have the usual annual fee under this subtitle.


2-714 License to be property of State; display; transfer.

(a) License to be property of State. -- A license issued under this subtitle is the property of the State and only is loaned to a licensee.

(b) Display. -- Each licensee shall display his license conspicuously on the premises where a riding stable is operated by the licensee.

(c) License not assignable or transferable. -- A license issued under this subtitle may not be assigned or transferred.


2-715 Suspension or revocation of license.

After a hearing, the Board may suspend or revoke the license issued to any licensee under this subtitle, if the licensee: (1) Fails to provide suitable food, water, and shelter for a horse under the control of the licensee; (2) Maintains an unsanitary or unfit stable; (3) Fails to provide suitable saddles, bridles, harnesses, and other tack or equipment; (4) Allows unfit horses to be used for riding or driving purposes; (5) Refuses to allow a member of the Board to enter and inspect the licensed premises; (6) Obstructs any member of the Board in the performance of his duties; (7) Commits an act of cruelty or torture, as those terms are defined in Article 27, s 62 of the Code, or allows the commission of an act of cruelty or torture by any other person with relation to any horse under the control of the licensee; (8) If engaged in the public sale of horses, fails to comply with any of the provisions of Title 3, Subtitle 3 of this article; (9) Does any other action that, in the opinion of the Board of Inspection, taking into consideration the welfare of the horses under the control of the licensee, shows that the licensee is unfit to operate a horse riding stable; or (10) Fails to comply with the rules and regulations of the Board after receiving a license.


2-716 Impounding horses.

(a) Notice to owner or custodian. -- If, in accordance with Article 27, s 67 of the Code, the Board considers it necessary to take possession of a horse to protect it from neglect or cruelty, the Board immediately shall notify the owner or custodian of this action.

(b) Petition for return. -- The owner or custodian of the horse may petition the Board for return of the horse within 5 days after possession was taken. If a timely petition is not filed with the Board, the horse shall be treated as an estray.

(c) Conditions for return. -- (1) If the owner or custodian files a timely petition, the Board shall return the horse if the owner or custodian: (i) Consents to providing proper attention to the horse, as specified by the Board; and (ii) Pays all costs and expenses incurred in taking possession of and stabling the horse during possession. (2) If the owner or custodian does not consent or pay all costs and expenses, the horse shall be treated as an estray.


2-717 Injunction.

The Board may apply for relief by injunction, without bond, to enforce any provision of this subtitle or to restrain a violation of any provision of this subtitle. In these proceedings the Board does not have to allege or prove that: (1) An adequate remedy at law does not exist; or (2) Substantial or irreparable damage would result from the continued violations.


2-718 Penalty.

Any person who violates any provision of this subtitle is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $250 or imprisonment not exceeding 11 months or both.


2-719 Termination of subtitle provisions and regulations.

Subject to the evaluation and reestablishment provisions of the Program Evaluation Act, the provisions of this subtitle and of any rule or regulation adopted under this subtitle shall terminate and be of no effect after July 1, 2006.

ARTICLE 27. CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS.
Cruelty to Animals


59 Cruelty to animals a misdemeanor.

(a) It is the intent of the General Assembly that all animals be protected from intentional cruelty if they are:
(1) Privately owned;
(2) Strays;
(3) Domesticated;
(4) Feral;
(5) Farm animals;
(6) Corporately or institutionally owned;
(7) In privately, locally, State, or federally funded scientific or medical activities; or
(8) Otherwise located in the State.

(b) (1) A person may not:
(i) Overdrive or overload an animal;
(ii) Deprive an animal of necessary sustenance;
(iii) Cause, procure, or authorize an act prohibited in item (i) or item (ii) of this paragraph;
(iv) With the charge or custody of an animal, as owner or otherwise;
1. Inflict unnecessary suffering or pain on the animal; or
2. Unnecessarily fail to provide the animal with nutritious food in sufficient quantity, necessary veterinary care, proper drink, air, space, shelter, or protection from the weather; or
(v) Knowingly attend a deliberately conducted dogfight as a spectator.
(2) A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to:
(i) Imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both; and
(ii) Psychological counseling, as a condition of sentencing, that is to be paid for by the defendant.

(c) (1) A person may not:
(i) Intentionally mutilate, torture, cruelly beat, or cruelly kill an animal;
(ii) Cause, procure, or authorize an act described in item (i) of this paragraph;
(iii) Use or allow a dog to be used in or arrange or conduct a dogfight;
(iv) Use or allow to be used a bird, fowl, or cock to fight with another animal, commonly known as cockfighting; or
(v) Except in the case of self-defense, intentionally inflict bodily harm, permanent disability, or death on an animal owned or used by a law enforcement unit.
(2) A person who violates this subsection is guilty of the felony of aggravated cruelty to animals and on conviction is subject to:
(i) Imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both; and
(ii) Psychological counseling, as a condition of sentence, that is to be paid for by the defendant.

(d) (1) This section does not apply to:
(i) Customary and normal veterinary and agricultural husbandry practices, including, but not limited to, dehorning, castration, docking tails, or limit feeding; or
(ii) Research conducted in accordance with protocols approved by an animal care and use committee, as required under the federal animal welfare act or the federal health research extension act.+>>
(2) When activities in which physical pain may unavoidably be caused to animals, as in food processing, pest elimination, animal training, or hunting, "cruelty" means a failure to employ the most humane method reasonably available.
(3) A person may not be held liable for criminal prosecution for normal human activities in which the infliction of pain to an animal is purely incidental and unavoidable.



60 Abandoning domestic animal.

Any person, partnership or corporation being the owner, possessor, or custodian of a dog, cat, or other domestic animal, who abandons such animal or drops or leaves such animal on a street, road, highway, or in a public place or on private property, with intent to abandon it, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $100.00.


60A Giving away any live animal, equine, or bird; exceptions.

(a) Without the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture, a person may not give away any live animal, equine, or bird as: (1) A prize for, or as an inducement to enter any contest, game, or other competition; or (2) An inducement to enter a place of amusement; or (3) As an incentive to enter into any business agreement where the offer was for the purpose of attracting trade.

(b) Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to a fine of not more than $500.

(c) The provisions of this section do not apply to a person or organization who gives away an animal: (1) As an agricultural project; or (2) For conservation purposes; or (3) Which is intended for slaughter.


61 Injuring, etc., of race horse, etc.

Every person who wilfully and maliciously interferes with, injures, destroys or tampers with, or who wilfully sets on foot, instigates, engages in or in any way furthers any act by which any horse used for the purposes of racing, breeding or competitive exhibition of skill, breed or stamina, is interfered with, injured, destroyed or tampered with, or any act tending to produce such interference, injury, destruction or tampering, whether such horse be the property of himself or another, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for a term of not less than one year nor more than three years.


62 Definitions.

The words "torture", "torment", and "cruelty" mean every act, omission, or neglect whereby unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering is caused or permitted, and the word "animal" means every living creature except man.


63 Arrests by officers of humane society.

Any officer of any society or association incorporated for the prevention of cruelty to animals, duly incorporated under the laws of this State, shall upon his own view of any misdemeanor in relation to cruelty to animals make arrests and bring before any commissioner or District Court offenders found violating the laws of this State in relation to cruelty to animals. In Baltimore County, the provisions of this section shall be enforced by the Baltimore County Bureau of Animal Control.


67 Care of mistreated and neglected animals.

If the owner or custodian of an animal is convicted of any act of animal cruelty, the judge may use his own discretion in ordering the removal of that animal or animals for their protection at the time of conviction. Whenever it becomes necessary, in order to protect any animal from neglect or cruelty, any officer or authorized agent of an animal humane society or any police officer or other public officials charged with the protection of animals may take possession of it, except that animals in the possession of medical and scientific research facilities may not be removed therefrom without the prior review and recommendation of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Division of Veterinary Medicine. The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene shall conduct an investigation within 24 hours of the receipt of a complaint and shall, within 24 hours of the investigation, report to the State's Attorney of the county in which the facilities are situated. If an animal is impounded, yarded or confined and continues without necessary food, water or proper attention, or is cruelly treated or neglected, any officer or authorized agent of an animal humane society or any police officer or other public officials charged with the protection of animals, or any invited and acompanying licensed veterinarian of the State, may enter into and upon any place in which the animal is impounded, yarded or confined and supply it with necessary food, water and attention so long as it there remains, or, if necessary, for the health of the animal, may remove the animal, and not be liable to any action for that entry. In all cases the owner or custodian of that animal shall be notified of that action and any administrative remedies which may be available by the person taking possession of the animal. The owner or custodian may file within ten days, if no administrative remedy is available, a petition for return of the animal in the District Court of the county in which the removal occurred. If the owner or custodian is notified and fails to file the petition within the time prescribed, or if the owner or custodian is unknown and cannot with reasonable effort be ascertained for a period of 20 days, the animal shall be held to be an estray and be dealt with as such, provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed as permitting the entry into a private dwelling or as permitting the taking of a farm animal without prior recommendation of a licensed veterinarian of the State. In Baltimore County, the provisions of this section shall be enforced by the Baltimore County Bureau of Animal Control or by an organization approved by the Baltimore County government.


Amended in 1998, 2001.
Reviewed by AAHS in September 2001.


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