Close loophole that allows private ownership of big cats
A recent report on three of Maryland's roadside zoos-Catoctin Zoo, Plumpton Park Zoo, and Tri-State Zoo-uncovered serious animal welfare and public safety concerns. Now, Maryland lawmakers are considering legislation (SB 827/HB 1124) to address those concerns by prohibiting unaccredited roadside zoos from keeping especially dangerous wild animals.
Maryland generally prohibits the private possession of certain dangerous wild animals, including big cats, bears, and primates. Unfortunately, the law currently allows many exotic pet owners and unqualified facilities to continue to keep, breed, and acquire these species by obtaining a USDA license.
USDA licensed facilities in Maryland have a long history of violations of the Animal Welfare Act-related to attacks, escapes, and inadequate veterinary care-yet despite these federal citations, they continue to operate. Our analysis found tigers living in deteriorating empty swimming pools, primates living in crowded or isolated conditions without adequate environmental enrichment, bears exhibiting neurotic behaviors, and dangerous and outdated cages. Read the full report here»
Please make a brief, polite phone call to your state legislators and ask them to strengthen Maryland's laws regarding dangerous wild animals in captivity by supporting SB 827/HB 1124. Look up your legislator's phone number here. You can say, "I recently read about the conditions at three of Maryland's roadside zoos and am concerned that these zoos are allowed to keep dangerous wild animals. Please support SB 827/HB 1124 which will limit the possession of these animals to qualified professionals."
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