PS ITEM
1
Novem ber 9, 2017
Worksession
MEM ORA NDU M
November 7, 2017
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Public Safety Committee
Jeff Zyon lfenio r Legislative Analyst
Worksession 2:
Bill 23-17, Animal Contro l-Perfo rmanc e Animal - Violations
Bill 23-17, Animal Control - Performance Animal - Violations, sponsored by Lead Sponsors
Councilmembers Rice and Leventhal, and Co-Sponsors Councilmembers Katz, Navarro, Riemer,
Elrich, Rucke r and Council President Berliner, was introduced on June 27. A public hearing was
held on July 18 and a Public Safety Committee worksession was held oii September 11. The lead
sponsors of the Bill, Councilmembers Rice and Leventhal also participated at that meeting. The
Committee directed staff to draft alternative provisions to Bill 23-17 as introduced related to:
1)
an exemp tion for agricultural fairs and educational animal exhibits integral to
2)
3)
4)
5)
school curriculum;
an exclusion for some reptiles (snakes);
an exclusion of any animal raised for food (bison, emus, llamas, and ostriches),
or fiber (alpacas);
an explicit exclusion for ponies; and
making the provisions of the Bill effective in a prov1s1on other than the
provisions for dangerous or potentially dangerous animals (Section 5-202).
The attached revised Bill, satisfies the Comm ittee's request with editorial changes. All animals
used for food, fiber, or commo n pets are excluded from the list of animals prohibited in a traveling
animal act. 1 An agricultural fair or any other agricultural event, even acts that travel with non-
excluded animals, may exhibit any animal that is not prohibited.
The following orders/families would
not
be prohibited at all under the redrafted Bill:
squamata (all species of snakes),
struthioniformes (such as ostriches),
casuariiformes (such as emus).
Artiodactyla, would have more exception to the exclusions such that the list of excluded animals would include-
domestic cattle, bison, American buffalo, water buffalo, yak, :zebu, gayal, bali cattle, suidae, sheep, goats, llamas, or
alpacas.
Perissodactyla would exclude ponies in addition to the exclusion of domestic horses, ponies, donkeys, or mules.
1
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The attached draft was emailed to representatives of interested parties on October 25.
2
Staff would
have amended the draft sent on October 25, if interested parties could identify any animal raised
for food or fiber that was still on the list of prohibited animals. No additional animals were so
identified.
The agricultural community opposes Bill 23-17 with or without drafting rev1s10ns. The
Montgomery County Farm Bureau, the Montgomery Agricultural Producers, the Montgomery
County Agricultural Center Inc., the Montgomery County Agricultural Advisory Committee and
the Executive Director of the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair suggested the establishment
of a Committee to define the problem and perhaps resolve the problem without legislation.
3
The
Director of the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair fears any legislation supported by the
Humane Society of the United States.
4
The Director of the Agricultural Fair solicited emails on the Fair's website in opposition to Bill
23-17. In view of the fairground's management:
1)
compliance with current animal cruelty are sufficient to protect animals;
2) the fairgrounds will lose rental revenue because the fairgrounds seek to rent its site to
traveling animal acts and the City of Gaithersburg will follow the lead of the County in
prohibiting such acts; and
3) approval of Bill 23-17 would prevent affordable and educational opportunities for
residents in Montgomery County who lack the income and resources to travel and learn
about some of the world's most iconic animals.
Continue Concerns from the Agricultural Community
Should the Committee recommend deferring action on Bill 23-17?
Members of the agricultural community recommended a study to determine the reasons for and
the implications of Bill 23-17 before any Council action. Deferring action is always an option for
the Council. The Lead Sponsors of Bill 23-17 wish to proceed to Council action on the amended
Bill.
Why
prohibit performance animals in traveling animal acts?
The use of animals as a form of amusement, entertainment or display is detrimental to the safety
of the public, including children and trainers. Wild animals pose a significant danger to audience
members, trainers, and the public at large. Travel or confinement impairs the animals' physical,
The Montgomery County Farm Bureau, the Montgomery Agricultural Producers, the Montgomery County
Agricultural Center Inc., the Montgomery County Agricultural Advisory Committee, the Executive Director of the
Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, and the Humane Society of the United States.
3
An
Executive Regulation tied to a permit has been suggested.
4
Metaphorically, the Director of the Agricultural Fair sees Bill 23-17 as the camel's nose under the tent. In an
extension of the "domino theory", he believes that Bill 23-17 will lead to future County laws that will ultimately
prohibit all farm animals.
2
2
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psychological, and social needs, while close confinement, lack of exercise, pressure to perform,
and other physical requirements of performing render the animals unable to express natural
behaviors and socialize appropriately. In addition, the training techniques, devices, or agents used
to make the animals perform are sometimes, cruel, and/or stressful, causing suffering to the
animals and creating a greater threat to the public.
5
The agricultural community does not find the above statement to be persuasive. Other jurisdictions
have found that legislation is in the public interest. Some 70 jurisdictions in the Unites States have
taken actions to prohibit the exhibition of wild animals.
6
Worldwide, 19 Countries have banned
wild animals in circuses.
7
The treatment of animals in traveling shows is not entirely visible to Animal Control Offices.
Problems may not be not observable when an inspection occurs. The physical space for animal
housing and trails is observable but the stress on animals in transit and lack of exercise in transit
cannot be observed. Abuse may occur outside the jurisdiction of the County.
Animal Services Officers currently operate on a complaint driven model. An inspection based
approach, if adopted, would contribute to the prevention of unnecessary suffering and cruelty and
could improve the standard of living for animals in traveling acts. Using an inspection based
approach would allow the denial of permits related to housing, training methods, and transport.
8
A prohibition of traveling animal acts is easy to enforce. There is only one question to answer.
Are wild animals (as defined in Bill 23-17) being used in shows?
Would the enactment ofBill 23-17 have any effect on the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair?
Due to the Fair's location, the Fair would not be affected by Bill 23-17. The prohibition on
performance animals would be part of the Animal Control Chapter of the Montgomery County Code.
The fairgrounds is in the City of Gaithersburg. Activities in Gaithersburg is
not
subject to the Animal
Control Chapter of the Montgomery County Code.
Sometimes Gaithersburg sees the wisdom of County legislation and sometimes it finds wisdom
appropriate for the City.
9
The enactment or disapproval of Bill 23-17 may or may not influence the
City of Gaithersburg to enact a similar prohibition.
Even if the Agricultural Fair was held in unincorporated Montgomery County, all the animals listed
as on display at the Agricultural Fair would be allowed by Bill 23-17 as redrafted.
10
Animal Law Resource Center; http://www.animallaw.com/Model-Law-Circuses.cfm; Animals in Circuses and the
Laws Governing Them, Michigan State University College of Law https://www.animallaw.info/article/animals-
circuses-and-laws-goveming-them
-
6
Four-paws has a county of70 jurisdictions including the State of Illinois; BornFree USA lists
55
jurisdictions;
7
https://www .peta.org. uk/blog/these-17-countries-banned-wild-animal-circuses/
8
Special Event permits are issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.
9
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and
the wisest might err." Mahatma Gandhi
10
The animals listed on the Fair's website as being on display during the fair are: donkeys, mules, goats, horses,
pigs, poultry, water fowl, rabbits, and sheep.
5
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If
the fairgrounds is relocated to an unincorporated area of Montgomery County, the income of the
Montgomery County Agricultural Center Inc, who owns the fairgrounds would be negatively
impacted to the extent that the fairgrounds had the opportunity to rent their facilities to traveling
animal acts.
11
The fairgrounds has been rented to traveling animals acts in the past.
Would the enactment ofBill 23-17 have any effect on agricultural fairs in general?
Bill 23-17 will not prohibit any agricultural fair that displays domesticated animals that are raised for
food, fiber, or common household pets. Every such animal is not included in the prohibited animal
list. Every such animal can be raised by the agricultural community
and
be in traveling acts. Even
animals that are listed as prohibited in traveling animal acts may be raised in if County law does not
already prohibit them from being raised.
12
If the Committee wants to allow wild animals in traveling acts at agricultural fairs (or any other
events), then the draft Bill should be revised.13
Would Bill 23-17 take away affordable and educational opportunities for residents in Montgomery
County who lack the income and resources to travel and learn about some of the world's most
iconic animals?
Staff does not find the criticism persuasive. The revised Bill would allow ANY animal act that is
part of a school's curriculum. Many traveling "zoos" bring'farm animals (raised for food or fiber),
or reptiles.
14
These animals would be allowed traveling acts even when the event is out of school.
Municipalities may choose to be regulated under the County's Animal Control Chapter. Gaithersburg has elected
not to be subject to that Chapter. Gaithersburg may be inspired to adopt its own prohibition on traveling animal
acts, but could occur with or without the Council's approval ofBill 23-17.
12
Sec. 5-202. Dangerous and potentially dangerous animals.
(a)
Violation.
(I)
Except as provided in subsection (d), a person must not import, sell, trade, buy, barter,
breed, raise, keep, or possess:
(A)
a wild animal; or
(B)
any animal that the County or any other jurisdiction finds is dangerous or a
threat to public health or safety, including types of animals excluded from State
law prohibitions on dangerous animals ....
(d)
Confinement and microchipping. The Director or the Board may impose any restriction or
condition, including confinement or microchipping the animal, on the owner of a dangerous or
potentially dangerous animal that is reasonably expected to protect the public health or safety. A
person must not release the animal from confinement unless the animal is:
(1)
securely muzzled in a manner approved by the Division;
(2)
leashed; and
(3)
under the control ofa person who is at least 18 years old and is physically able to restrain
the animal.
Without regard to Bill 23-17, a wild animal is defined as "an animal of a species of an untamable disposition, a
species in a state of nature, or a native self-sustaining species. All animals of these species are wild animals even if
a particular animal has characteristics that reflect domestication or taming."
13
A representative of the Zoological Associate wrote: "It is a strange law that allows exhibitors to benefit financially
from an educational animal program offered at a school, but not one given to similarly appreciative audiences at the
YWCA, Newman Center, Ethiopian Community Center, or to a scout troop." Then again, any extent can be
advertised as educational if it is not limited to events in schools.
14
http://sguealsonwheels.us/
http://www.barcranch.org/petting-zoo.html
11
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There are some traveling zoos that include some animals that would not be allowed by the Bill
(camels).
The National Zoo is free, has an unmatched variety of animals, and is accessible by Metro. Wild
animal acts in the County have had entrance charges and are not required to be accessible by bus
or rail.
New Issues
Should there be a provision for exotic animal rescues, sanctuaries, and rehabilitators, permitted
to operate in the State ofMaryland, to possess wild animals?
The general prohibition on wild animals in the County Code reads as follows:
Sec. 5-202. Dangerous and potentially dangerous animals.
Violation.
(a)
Except as provided in subsection (d), a person must not import, sell, trade,
(1)
buy, barter, breed, raise, keep, or possess:
a wild animal; or
(A)
any animal that the County or any other jurisdiction finds is
(B)
dangerous or a threat to public health or safety, including types of
animals excluded from State law prohibitions on dangerous animals.
The exception in Subsection (d) concerns "restriction or condition, including confinement or
microchipping the animal, on the owner of a dangerous or potentially dangerous animal that is
reasonably expected to protect the public health or safety". There is no specific exception to the
prohibition on possessing wild animals for animal rescues, sanctuaries, and rehabilitators permitted
to operate in Maryland.
Staff recommends amending Section 5-202 to exempt animal rescues, sanctuaries, and
rehabilitators.
Should all trucks be included as a "mobile or traveling housingfacility"?
Two of the terms defined in Section 5-204.
Traveling animal act means the exhibition of a wild animal where the animal is
transported to, from, or between locations for exhibition, in a mobile or traveling
housing facility.
Mobile or traveling housing facility means a transporting vehicle such as a truck,
trailer, or railway car, used to move or house wild animals.
http://www.marysgoroundponyrides.com/
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The word "truck" is overly inclusive given the range of vehicles on the road. To make it clear that
household trucks are not included,
staff recommends adding the word "heavy commercial vehicle
as defmed by Section 59.1.4.2" replacing the word "truck" in the defmition of "mobile or
traveling housing facility".
This would include only trucks greater than 10,000 pounds gross
vehicle weight.
Should the Animal Control law prohibit marsupialia?
Marsupialia is an order of animal mammals of which the females have a pouch where the young are
fed and carried. It includes opossums, kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, wombats and Tasmanian devils.
Most animals in the marsupialia order are native to Australia and New Zealand. Marsupialis are
included in the list of animals prohibited in a traveling act.
There is an on-going, USDA regulated business in Germantown that raises marsupials including
kangaroos. Part of their business is having visitors to their property and bringing animals to schools.
Another part of their business is bringing baby animals to parties.
If
the Committee wants the Germantown business to continue its operations, there would be two
changes in the redraft ofBill 23-17. There would need to be amendments to exclude marsupialia in
the definition of wild animal in Section 5-101 and Section 5-204.
15
This packet contains:
Bill 23-17 with staff proposed amendments
Legislative Request Report
Agricultural Community letters
Circle#
1
6
7
F:\LAW\BILLS\1723 Animal Control - Prohibit Exihbition And Performance\PS Memo For November 9 .Docx
Section 5-101: Wild animal: An animal ofa species ofan untamable disposition, a species in a state of nature, or a
native self-sustaining species. All animals of these species are wild animals even if a particular animal has
characteristics that reflect domestication or taming.
15
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Bill No. ----=2=-3-__,,1-=-7_ _ _ __
Control
Concerning: Animal
Performance Animal - Violations
7
Revised: 10/16/2017 Draft No.
June 27 2017
Introduced:
December 27, 2018
Expires:
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date: _No~n~e_ _ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _ , Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
Lead Sponsors: Councilmembers Rice and Leventhal
Co-Sponsors: Councilmembers
Katz,
Navarro, Riemer, Elrich, Bucker and Council President
Berliner
AN ACT
to:
Define [[the term "exhibit"]] certain terms;
(1)
[[Define the term performance animal;
(2)
(3)]] Prohibit the exhibition of [[performance]] wild animals in a traveling animal act;
[[(4)]] filAuthorize the Animal Control Division to enforce the prohibited act; and
[[(5)]] filGenerally amend the provisions concerning animal cruelty.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 5, Animal Control
Sections 5-101, 5-102, and 5-201
By adding
Chapter 5, Animal Control
Section 5-204
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deleted.from existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deleted.from existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unaffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL No. 23-17
Sec.1. Sections 5-101, 5-102, and 5-201 are amended and Section 5-204 is
2
3
4
added as follows:
5-101. Definitions.
In this Chapter, the following words and phrases have the following meanings:
5
6
*
*
*
[[Display:
Any exhibit, fair, act, circus, ride, or similar undertaking in which~
performance animal is required to perform tricks, give rides, or participate as
accompaniments for the entertainment, amusement, or benefit of another.)l
1
s
9
10
11
*
or business.
ll
*
*
[[Exhibit:
The display of~ performance animal for the financial benefit of any person
12
13
14
*
*
*
[[Performance animal:
The following animals are performance animals. The animals
listed in parentheses are intended to act as examples and are not to be construed as an
exhaustive list or limit the generality of each group of animals, unless otherwise
specified:
15
16
11
ill
ill
ill
non-human primates and prosimians (such as chimpanzees, baboons,
monkeys, etc.)-: all species;
felidae (such as lions, tigers, cougars, leopards, ocelots, servals, etc.)=
all species except domestic cats;
canidae (such as wolves, coyotes, etc.)= all species except domestic
dogs;
1s
19
20
21
22
23
24
ill
ill
.(fil
ursidae (such as bears)= all species;
marsupialia (such as kangaroos, etc.)= all species;
proboscidae (such as elephants)= all species;
crocodilia (such as crocodiles, alligators, etc.)= all species;
squamata (all species of snakes only);
25
26
21
ill
(fil
F:\LA
WIBIL0.3
Animal Control - Prohibit Exihbition And Performance\Bill 7.Docx
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BILL No. 23-17
28
.{22
artiodactyla (such as hippopotamuses, giraffes, camels, etc.)~ all species
except domestic cattle, swine, sheep, or goats;
29
30
31
.(lQ)
perissodactyla (such as zebras, rhinos, and tapirs)= all species except
domestic horses, donkeys, or mules;
(11) struthioniformes (such as ostriches )= all species;
32
33
34
35
36
.(U)
casuariiformes (such as emus)= all species;
.{_Ll.}
Elasmobranchii (including nurse sharks and lemon sharks); and
.{H} Pinnipedia (including seals, sea lions, and walruses).]]
*
5-102. Administration.
*
*
*
37
38
* *
(
e)
39
Enforcement of [state] animal control laws. To the extent allowed by
State law, the Division may enforce any State animal control law and
any law under this Chapter. A reference in a State animal control law to
the "appropriate authority" (or any similar term) in the County means
the Division and any other County agency designated by regulation
adopted under method (3).
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
*
5-201. Cruelty.
(a)
*
*
47
48
49
Violation [[under State Laws)].
A person must not violate State laws against cruelty to animals, such as
by:
50
51
52
53
* *
*
[[{hl
Additional violation: A person or business must not exhibit or
financially benefit from the exhibition of any performance animal
in~
traveling animal act.]]
F:\LA
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Animal Control - Prohibit Exihbition And Performance\Bill 7.Docx
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BILL
No. 23-17
54
55
56
[[~]]
!lu
Regulations. The County Executive may issue regulations,
consistent with State law, to interpret and implement State anti-cruelty
laws in the County
[[!Q.
interpret and enforce this subsection]].
57
58
59
60
61
* * *
5-204. Traveling Animal Act
-
Prohibited.
W
Definitions.
In this section, the following words have the meanings
indicated:
ill
Exhibition
means an act, circus, ride, or similar undertaking in
which a wild animal is required to perform tricks. give rides, or
participate as accompaniments for the entertainment, amusement,
or benefit of any live audience.
62
63
64
65
66
al
Mobile or traveling housing facility
means a transporting vehicle
such as a truck. trailer. or railway car. used to move or house wild
animals.
67
68
69
ill
Traveling animal act
means the exhibition of a wild animal where
the animal is transported to. from. or between locations for
exhibition, in a mobile or traveling housing facility.
70
71
72
ill
Wild animal
means all animals classified in the following orders
or families except the species noted:
(A)
non-human primates and prosimians;
felidae, except domestic cats;
canidae, except domestic dogs;
ursidae;
marsupialia;
proboscidea;
crocodilia;
artiodactyla, except domestic cattle, bison, American
73
74
au
(Q
(D)
75
76
77
,CE.)
78
79
ill
(ill
(ID
80
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Animal Control - Prohibit Exihbition And Performance\Bill 7.Docx
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BILL No. 23-17
81
buffalo, water buffalo, yak. zebu, gayal. bali cattle, suidae,
sheep, goats, llamas, or alpacas;
82
83
ill
perissodactyla, except domestic horses, ponies, donkeys, or
mules;
84
85
86
87
88
ill
(K)
elasmobranchii; and
pinnipedia.
Prohibition.
Except for any animal act performed for a school as part of
the school's curriculum, a person or business must not financially benefit
from the exhibition of a wild animal in a traveling animal act.
Regulations.
The County Executive may issue regulations under Method
2, to interpret and enforce this subsection.
Approved:
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
Roger Berliner, President, County Council
Date
Approved:
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
This is a correct copy ofCouncil action.
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk of the Council
Date
r:-....
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 23-17
Animal Control
-
Performance Animal
-
Violations
DESCRIPTION:
This Bill defines performance animals and prohibits a person or
business from exhibiting or financially benefit from the exhibition of
any performance animal. It also allows enforcement of the
prohibition.
Profiting by exhibition of wide animals creates an incentive for the
capture those animals and creates an excessive opportunity for animal
cruelty.
The goal is to remove the financial incentive for displaying wide
animals.
Police Department - Animal Control Division
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be researched.
Jeff Zyontz, Senior Legislative Analyst, 240 777 7896
To be researched.
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
Violations with be subject Class A violation
f:\law\bills\1723 animal control - prohibit exihbition and performance\lrr.do1
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November 2, 2017
The Honorable Roger Berliner
Montgomery County Council President
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
RE:
Bill 23-17-Animal Control-Performance Animal-Violation
Dear President Berliner and Members of the Montgomery County Council:
After countless hours of deliberation with leaders of the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, the agricultural
community and County officials, we cannot support the content of Bill 23-17 in its current form. We believe that a work
group should be appointed by the County Council which includes Council staff and representatives of the Animal Services
Division, Fair and agricultural community so that we can better understand all implications and potential outcomes of this
legislation. The formation of such a group was recommended during the September 11th work session and we continue to
believe this represents the most productive path forward for all constituencies.
With no known violations concerning the care of exotic performance animals in Montgomery County, current regulations
appear to be working with the Animal Services Division meeting their obligations well. Nevertheless, we are eager to
understand better the concerns of the proponents of Bill 23-17 and to find an appropriate resolution to this matter. By
creating a work group, we can come to a joint understanding of the issues at hand and the need to develop a legislative
approach.
We plan to continue protecting the animals in our care while maintaining the excellent educational programming we
provide to our community. We oppose Bill 23-17 in its current form because it risks altering fundamentally our ability to
continue our great traditions without evidence of harm to the traveling performance animals at our events. To be clear,
without the creation of a work group to review the reasons for and implications of the legislation, we must oppose Bill 23-
17.
Sincerely,
6mJt{;Jf-
Mark Ryba, President
Montgomery County Agricultural Center Inc.
William F. Willard, Chair
Montgomery Ag. Producers
Cc: Montgomery County Council Members,
Jim Clifford, Esquire MC Agricultural Center, Inc.
B~ ~J -
DougUl ider
Mont. Co. Ag. Advisory Committee
6)
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Montgomery County Farm Bureau
PO Box 217, Damascus Maryland 20872
240-308-2978
mcfarmbureausecretary@gmail.com
www.montgomery.mdfarmbureau.com
Montgomery County
Farm Bureau®
--
The Honorable Roger Berliner, President
Montgomery County Council
100 Maryland Avenue, 6th Floor
Rockville, Maryland 20850
November 2, 2017
Dear Mr. Berliner:
The Montgomery County Farm Bureau (MCFB) opposes Bill 23-17. We believe it is an
unnecessary piece of legislation. Given existing animal cruelty laws at the State and County
levels and the fact there have been no known violations concerning traveling wild animal
shows in Montgomery County, a need for the Bill does not exist.
We greatly appreciate the efforts that Council staff have made to modify the bill based upon
our concerns and to narrow the focus of the bill; however, MCFB stands with the Ag
Community and cannot support this bill as written. MCFB sees merit in the County Council
assigning Bill 23-17 to a working group of stakeholders to thoroughly study any potential
future implications to agriculture and understand how other jurisdictions have addressed
similar situations.
Thank you again for working closely with the Ag Community.
Most Sincerely,
Michele
A.
Cropp
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Michele
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Cropp, President
Montgomery County Farm Bureau
240-304-7767
1
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November 3, 2017
The Honorable Roger Berliner
Montgomery County Council President
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
RE: Bill 23-17-Animal Control-Performance Animal-Violation
President Berliner and Members of the Montgomery County Council:
Bill 23-17 has made many twists and turns since it was originally vvritten on February 2,
2017 as an Act, by Ashley Rhinehart Rl"'\J, Senior Food and Nutrition Manager at the
Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and sent to George Leventhal on April 12,
2017.
Since that time it has been considered for placement in Animal Cruelty, Chapter 5,
Animal Control, Sections 5-101, 5-102, and 5-201. This did not prove to be enforceable by
the Animal Welfare Division of Montgomery County as learned at the September 11,
2017 work session. Then it was to be placed in Sec. 5-202. Dangerous and Potentially
Dangerous animals, and this did not work either. Now it is being considered by amending
Chapter 5, Animal Control, Sections 5-101, 5-102, and 5-201, and by adding Chapter 5,
Animal Control, Section 5-204 Traveling Act.
The fact that it has been so difficult to designate where it should be placed in our code, and
that the Animal Welfare Division has no reports on record of animal cruelty by shows that
have exotic animals leads to the conclusion that Montgomery County Maryland does not
have an
animal
abuse problem and no need for Bill 23-17.
It has become commonplace to believe that humane treatment is not exercised by
caretakers of performing animals and exhibits, but that could not be further from the
truth. Performing animals are well respected and are provided with a life full of excellent
medical care, environmental stimulation, and scientific based husbandry practices all of
which are regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the
Animal vVelfare Act (AWA). Those who violate animal cruelty laws should be
J-Iighlightilrag Youila, Agric/Jzlture mad Voharateerism since 1949
16 C!hestnut Street
GaitllD.erslln.ug, Maryland 20877
301-926-3Hll0
mcag.fafr.com
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Page 2
prosecuted under the laws that are in place to protect animals from abusive behavior.
Please remember that as of this date, there are no reported incidents of cruelty against
exotic animals in Montgomery County according to the records of our Animal Welfare
Division.
The intention to stop animal agriculture by the HSUS is evident when a Nutrition Manager
from their organization wrote the first version of Bill 23-17 that was sent to the County
Council.
Additionally:
Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, told
Animal People News his stated goal is to create
11
a National Rifle Association of
the animal rights movement." "Animals are no one's property, and they have the
right not be 'taken,' 'harvested,' or 'culled' or any other euphemism for murder
that wildlife managers use. They are no one's property, just as you and I are no
one's property other than our own."
Paul Shapiro, Vice President of Policy at HSUS, stated
II
eating meat causes
animal cruelty.
11
John "J.P." Goodwin, former Political Director at HSUS, currently Senior
Director of the Stop Puppy Mills campaign at HSUS told AR-Views, an animal
rights Internet discussion group, that "My goal is the abolition of all animal
agriculture".
This ·effort to pass Bill 23-17 is the first step in the slow demise of your Montgomery
County Agricultural Fair and animal agriculture in our community. There is no need to
create legislation to satisfy a philosophical agenda that is being promoted by the HSUS to
solve an animal abuse claim that Montgomery County data indicates does not exist. Their
goal is to promote animal regulation and then expand on legislation that is passed in local
communities to move forward with their plan to severely restrict and ultimately stop
animal agriculture.
~2
16 Chestnut Street
Martin E. Svrcek
Executive Director
Montgomery County Agricultural Fair
Highlighting Youth, Agriculture and Volunteerism since 1949
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877
301-926-3100 mcagfair.com
@
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PS ITEM
1
Novem ber 9, 2017
Worksession
MEM ORA NDU M
November 7, 2017
TO:
FROM:
SUBJECT:
Public Safety Committee
Jeff Zyon lfenio r Legislative Analyst
Worksession 2:
Bill 23-17, Animal Contro l-Perfo rmanc e Animal - Violations
Bill 23-17, Animal Control - Performance Animal - Violations, sponsored by Lead Sponsors
Councilmembers Rice and Leventhal, and Co-Sponsors Councilmembers Katz, Navarro, Riemer,
Elrich, Rucke r and Council President Berliner, was introduced on June 27. A public hearing was
held on July 18 and a Public Safety Committee worksession was held oii September 11. The lead
sponsors of the Bill, Councilmembers Rice and Leventhal also participated at that meeting. The
Committee directed staff to draft alternative provisions to Bill 23-17 as introduced related to:
1)
an exemp tion for agricultural fairs and educational animal exhibits integral to
2)
3)
4)
5)
school curriculum;
an exclusion for some reptiles (snakes);
an exclusion of any animal raised for food (bison, emus, llamas, and ostriches),
or fiber (alpacas);
an explicit exclusion for ponies; and
making the provisions of the Bill effective in a prov1s1on other than the
provisions for dangerous or potentially dangerous animals (Section 5-202).
The attached revised Bill, satisfies the Comm ittee's request with editorial changes. All animals
used for food, fiber, or commo n pets are excluded from the list of animals prohibited in a traveling
animal act. 1 An agricultural fair or any other agricultural event, even acts that travel with non-
excluded animals, may exhibit any animal that is not prohibited.
The following orders/families would
not
be prohibited at all under the redrafted Bill:
squamata (all species of snakes),
struthioniformes (such as ostriches),
casuariiformes (such as emus).
Artiodactyla, would have more exception to the exclusions such that the list of excluded animals would include-
domestic cattle, bison, American buffalo, water buffalo, yak, :zebu, gayal, bali cattle, suidae, sheep, goats, llamas, or
alpacas.
Perissodactyla would exclude ponies in addition to the exclusion of domestic horses, ponies, donkeys, or mules.
1
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The attached draft was emailed to representatives of interested parties on October 25.
2
Staff would
have amended the draft sent on October 25, if interested parties could identify any animal raised
for food or fiber that was still on the list of prohibited animals. No additional animals were so
identified.
The agricultural community opposes Bill 23-17 with or without drafting rev1s10ns. The
Montgomery County Farm Bureau, the Montgomery Agricultural Producers, the Montgomery
County Agricultural Center Inc., the Montgomery County Agricultural Advisory Committee and
the Executive Director of the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair suggested the establishment
of a Committee to define the problem and perhaps resolve the problem without legislation.
3
The
Director of the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair fears any legislation supported by the
Humane Society of the United States.
4
The Director of the Agricultural Fair solicited emails on the Fair's website in opposition to Bill
23-17. In view of the fairground's management:
1)
compliance with current animal cruelty are sufficient to protect animals;
2) the fairgrounds will lose rental revenue because the fairgrounds seek to rent its site to
traveling animal acts and the City of Gaithersburg will follow the lead of the County in
prohibiting such acts; and
3) approval of Bill 23-17 would prevent affordable and educational opportunities for
residents in Montgomery County who lack the income and resources to travel and learn
about some of the world's most iconic animals.
Continue Concerns from the Agricultural Community
Should the Committee recommend deferring action on Bill 23-17?
Members of the agricultural community recommended a study to determine the reasons for and
the implications of Bill 23-17 before any Council action. Deferring action is always an option for
the Council. The Lead Sponsors of Bill 23-17 wish to proceed to Council action on the amended
Bill.
Why
prohibit performance animals in traveling animal acts?
The use of animals as a form of amusement, entertainment or display is detrimental to the safety
of the public, including children and trainers. Wild animals pose a significant danger to audience
members, trainers, and the public at large. Travel or confinement impairs the animals' physical,
The Montgomery County Farm Bureau, the Montgomery Agricultural Producers, the Montgomery County
Agricultural Center Inc., the Montgomery County Agricultural Advisory Committee, the Executive Director of the
Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, and the Humane Society of the United States.
3
An
Executive Regulation tied to a permit has been suggested.
4
Metaphorically, the Director of the Agricultural Fair sees Bill 23-17 as the camel's nose under the tent. In an
extension of the "domino theory", he believes that Bill 23-17 will lead to future County laws that will ultimately
prohibit all farm animals.
2
2
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psychological, and social needs, while close confinement, lack of exercise, pressure to perform,
and other physical requirements of performing render the animals unable to express natural
behaviors and socialize appropriately. In addition, the training techniques, devices, or agents used
to make the animals perform are sometimes, cruel, and/or stressful, causing suffering to the
animals and creating a greater threat to the public.
5
The agricultural community does not find the above statement to be persuasive. Other jurisdictions
have found that legislation is in the public interest. Some 70 jurisdictions in the Unites States have
taken actions to prohibit the exhibition of wild animals.
6
Worldwide, 19 Countries have banned
wild animals in circuses.
7
The treatment of animals in traveling shows is not entirely visible to Animal Control Offices.
Problems may not be not observable when an inspection occurs. The physical space for animal
housing and trails is observable but the stress on animals in transit and lack of exercise in transit
cannot be observed. Abuse may occur outside the jurisdiction of the County.
Animal Services Officers currently operate on a complaint driven model. An inspection based
approach, if adopted, would contribute to the prevention of unnecessary suffering and cruelty and
could improve the standard of living for animals in traveling acts. Using an inspection based
approach would allow the denial of permits related to housing, training methods, and transport.
8
A prohibition of traveling animal acts is easy to enforce. There is only one question to answer.
Are wild animals (as defined in Bill 23-17) being used in shows?
Would the enactment ofBill 23-17 have any effect on the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair?
Due to the Fair's location, the Fair would not be affected by Bill 23-17. The prohibition on
performance animals would be part of the Animal Control Chapter of the Montgomery County Code.
The fairgrounds is in the City of Gaithersburg. Activities in Gaithersburg is
not
subject to the Animal
Control Chapter of the Montgomery County Code.
Sometimes Gaithersburg sees the wisdom of County legislation and sometimes it finds wisdom
appropriate for the City.
9
The enactment or disapproval of Bill 23-17 may or may not influence the
City of Gaithersburg to enact a similar prohibition.
Even if the Agricultural Fair was held in unincorporated Montgomery County, all the animals listed
as on display at the Agricultural Fair would be allowed by Bill 23-17 as redrafted.
10
Animal Law Resource Center; http://www.animallaw.com/Model-Law-Circuses.cfm; Animals in Circuses and the
Laws Governing Them, Michigan State University College of Law https://www.animallaw.info/article/animals-
circuses-and-laws-goveming-them
-
6
Four-paws has a county of70 jurisdictions including the State of Illinois; BornFree USA lists
55
jurisdictions;
7
https://www .peta.org. uk/blog/these-17-countries-banned-wild-animal-circuses/
8
Special Event permits are issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.
9
"It is unwise to be too sure of one's own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and
the wisest might err." Mahatma Gandhi
10
The animals listed on the Fair's website as being on display during the fair are: donkeys, mules, goats, horses,
pigs, poultry, water fowl, rabbits, and sheep.
5
3
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If
the fairgrounds is relocated to an unincorporated area of Montgomery County, the income of the
Montgomery County Agricultural Center Inc, who owns the fairgrounds would be negatively
impacted to the extent that the fairgrounds had the opportunity to rent their facilities to traveling
animal acts.
11
The fairgrounds has been rented to traveling animals acts in the past.
Would the enactment ofBill 23-17 have any effect on agricultural fairs in general?
Bill 23-17 will not prohibit any agricultural fair that displays domesticated animals that are raised for
food, fiber, or common household pets. Every such animal is not included in the prohibited animal
list. Every such animal can be raised by the agricultural community
and
be in traveling acts. Even
animals that are listed as prohibited in traveling animal acts may be raised in if County law does not
already prohibit them from being raised.
12
If the Committee wants to allow wild animals in traveling acts at agricultural fairs (or any other
events), then the draft Bill should be revised.13
Would Bill 23-17 take away affordable and educational opportunities for residents in Montgomery
County who lack the income and resources to travel and learn about some of the world's most
iconic animals?
Staff does not find the criticism persuasive. The revised Bill would allow ANY animal act that is
part of a school's curriculum. Many traveling "zoos" bring'farm animals (raised for food or fiber),
or reptiles.
14
These animals would be allowed traveling acts even when the event is out of school.
Municipalities may choose to be regulated under the County's Animal Control Chapter. Gaithersburg has elected
not to be subject to that Chapter. Gaithersburg may be inspired to adopt its own prohibition on traveling animal
acts, but could occur with or without the Council's approval ofBill 23-17.
12
Sec. 5-202. Dangerous and potentially dangerous animals.
(a)
Violation.
(I)
Except as provided in subsection (d), a person must not import, sell, trade, buy, barter,
breed, raise, keep, or possess:
(A)
a wild animal; or
(B)
any animal that the County or any other jurisdiction finds is dangerous or a
threat to public health or safety, including types of animals excluded from State
law prohibitions on dangerous animals ....
(d)
Confinement and microchipping. The Director or the Board may impose any restriction or
condition, including confinement or microchipping the animal, on the owner of a dangerous or
potentially dangerous animal that is reasonably expected to protect the public health or safety. A
person must not release the animal from confinement unless the animal is:
(1)
securely muzzled in a manner approved by the Division;
(2)
leashed; and
(3)
under the control ofa person who is at least 18 years old and is physically able to restrain
the animal.
Without regard to Bill 23-17, a wild animal is defined as "an animal of a species of an untamable disposition, a
species in a state of nature, or a native self-sustaining species. All animals of these species are wild animals even if
a particular animal has characteristics that reflect domestication or taming."
13
A representative of the Zoological Associate wrote: "It is a strange law that allows exhibitors to benefit financially
from an educational animal program offered at a school, but not one given to similarly appreciative audiences at the
YWCA, Newman Center, Ethiopian Community Center, or to a scout troop." Then again, any extent can be
advertised as educational if it is not limited to events in schools.
14
http://sguealsonwheels.us/
http://www.barcranch.org/petting-zoo.html
11
4
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There are some traveling zoos that include some animals that would not be allowed by the Bill
(camels).
The National Zoo is free, has an unmatched variety of animals, and is accessible by Metro. Wild
animal acts in the County have had entrance charges and are not required to be accessible by bus
or rail.
New Issues
Should there be a provision for exotic animal rescues, sanctuaries, and rehabilitators, permitted
to operate in the State ofMaryland, to possess wild animals?
The general prohibition on wild animals in the County Code reads as follows:
Sec. 5-202. Dangerous and potentially dangerous animals.
Violation.
(a)
Except as provided in subsection (d), a person must not import, sell, trade,
(1)
buy, barter, breed, raise, keep, or possess:
a wild animal; or
(A)
any animal that the County or any other jurisdiction finds is
(B)
dangerous or a threat to public health or safety, including types of
animals excluded from State law prohibitions on dangerous animals.
The exception in Subsection (d) concerns "restriction or condition, including confinement or
microchipping the animal, on the owner of a dangerous or potentially dangerous animal that is
reasonably expected to protect the public health or safety". There is no specific exception to the
prohibition on possessing wild animals for animal rescues, sanctuaries, and rehabilitators permitted
to operate in Maryland.
Staff recommends amending Section 5-202 to exempt animal rescues, sanctuaries, and
rehabilitators.
Should all trucks be included as a "mobile or traveling housingfacility"?
Two of the terms defined in Section 5-204.
Traveling animal act means the exhibition of a wild animal where the animal is
transported to, from, or between locations for exhibition, in a mobile or traveling
housing facility.
Mobile or traveling housing facility means a transporting vehicle such as a truck,
trailer, or railway car, used to move or house wild animals.
http://www.marysgoroundponyrides.com/
5
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The word "truck" is overly inclusive given the range of vehicles on the road. To make it clear that
household trucks are not included,
staff recommends adding the word "heavy commercial vehicle
as defmed by Section 59.1.4.2" replacing the word "truck" in the defmition of "mobile or
traveling housing facility".
This would include only trucks greater than 10,000 pounds gross
vehicle weight.
Should the Animal Control law prohibit marsupialia?
Marsupialia is an order of animal mammals of which the females have a pouch where the young are
fed and carried. It includes opossums, kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, wombats and Tasmanian devils.
Most animals in the marsupialia order are native to Australia and New Zealand. Marsupialis are
included in the list of animals prohibited in a traveling act.
There is an on-going, USDA regulated business in Germantown that raises marsupials including
kangaroos. Part of their business is having visitors to their property and bringing animals to schools.
Another part of their business is bringing baby animals to parties.
If
the Committee wants the Germantown business to continue its operations, there would be two
changes in the redraft ofBill 23-17. There would need to be amendments to exclude marsupialia in
the definition of wild animal in Section 5-101 and Section 5-204.
15
This packet contains:
Bill 23-17 with staff proposed amendments
Legislative Request Report
Agricultural Community letters
Circle#
1
6
7
F:\LAW\BILLS\1723 Animal Control - Prohibit Exihbition And Performance\PS Memo For November 9 .Docx
Section 5-101: Wild animal: An animal ofa species ofan untamable disposition, a species in a state of nature, or a
native self-sustaining species. All animals of these species are wild animals even if a particular animal has
characteristics that reflect domestication or taming.
15
6
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Bill No. ----=2=-3-__,,1-=-7_ _ _ __
Control
Concerning: Animal
Performance Animal - Violations
7
Revised: 10/16/2017 Draft No.
June 27 2017
Introduced:
December 27, 2018
Expires:
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date: _No~n~e_ _ _ _ _ __
Ch. _ _ , Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
Lead Sponsors: Councilmembers Rice and Leventhal
Co-Sponsors: Councilmembers
Katz,
Navarro, Riemer, Elrich, Bucker and Council President
Berliner
AN ACT
to:
Define [[the term "exhibit"]] certain terms;
(1)
[[Define the term performance animal;
(2)
(3)]] Prohibit the exhibition of [[performance]] wild animals in a traveling animal act;
[[(4)]] filAuthorize the Animal Control Division to enforce the prohibited act; and
[[(5)]] filGenerally amend the provisions concerning animal cruelty.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 5, Animal Control
Sections 5-101, 5-102, and 5-201
By adding
Chapter 5, Animal Control
Section 5-204
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
* * *
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deleted.from existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deleted.from existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unaffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves the following Act:
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BILL No. 23-17
Sec.1. Sections 5-101, 5-102, and 5-201 are amended and Section 5-204 is
2
3
4
added as follows:
5-101. Definitions.
In this Chapter, the following words and phrases have the following meanings:
5
6
*
*
*
[[Display:
Any exhibit, fair, act, circus, ride, or similar undertaking in which~
performance animal is required to perform tricks, give rides, or participate as
accompaniments for the entertainment, amusement, or benefit of another.)l
1
s
9
10
11
*
or business.
ll
*
*
[[Exhibit:
The display of~ performance animal for the financial benefit of any person
12
13
14
*
*
*
[[Performance animal:
The following animals are performance animals. The animals
listed in parentheses are intended to act as examples and are not to be construed as an
exhaustive list or limit the generality of each group of animals, unless otherwise
specified:
15
16
11
ill
ill
ill
non-human primates and prosimians (such as chimpanzees, baboons,
monkeys, etc.)-: all species;
felidae (such as lions, tigers, cougars, leopards, ocelots, servals, etc.)=
all species except domestic cats;
canidae (such as wolves, coyotes, etc.)= all species except domestic
dogs;
1s
19
20
21
22
23
24
ill
ill
.(fil
ursidae (such as bears)= all species;
marsupialia (such as kangaroos, etc.)= all species;
proboscidae (such as elephants)= all species;
crocodilia (such as crocodiles, alligators, etc.)= all species;
squamata (all species of snakes only);
25
26
21
ill
(fil
F:\LA
WIBIL0.3
Animal Control - Prohibit Exihbition And Performance\Bill 7.Docx
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BILL No. 23-17
28
.{22
artiodactyla (such as hippopotamuses, giraffes, camels, etc.)~ all species
except domestic cattle, swine, sheep, or goats;
29
30
31
.(lQ)
perissodactyla (such as zebras, rhinos, and tapirs)= all species except
domestic horses, donkeys, or mules;
(11) struthioniformes (such as ostriches )= all species;
32
33
34
35
36
.(U)
casuariiformes (such as emus)= all species;
.{_Ll.}
Elasmobranchii (including nurse sharks and lemon sharks); and
.{H} Pinnipedia (including seals, sea lions, and walruses).]]
*
5-102. Administration.
*
*
*
37
38
* *
(
e)
39
Enforcement of [state] animal control laws. To the extent allowed by
State law, the Division may enforce any State animal control law and
any law under this Chapter. A reference in a State animal control law to
the "appropriate authority" (or any similar term) in the County means
the Division and any other County agency designated by regulation
adopted under method (3).
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
*
5-201. Cruelty.
(a)
*
*
47
48
49
Violation [[under State Laws)].
A person must not violate State laws against cruelty to animals, such as
by:
50
51
52
53
* *
*
[[{hl
Additional violation: A person or business must not exhibit or
financially benefit from the exhibition of any performance animal
in~
traveling animal act.]]
F:\LA
W\BILL03
Animal Control - Prohibit Exihbition And Performance\Bill 7.Docx
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BILL
No. 23-17
54
55
56
[[~]]
!lu
Regulations. The County Executive may issue regulations,
consistent with State law, to interpret and implement State anti-cruelty
laws in the County
[[!Q.
interpret and enforce this subsection]].
57
58
59
60
61
* * *
5-204. Traveling Animal Act
-
Prohibited.
W
Definitions.
In this section, the following words have the meanings
indicated:
ill
Exhibition
means an act, circus, ride, or similar undertaking in
which a wild animal is required to perform tricks. give rides, or
participate as accompaniments for the entertainment, amusement,
or benefit of any live audience.
62
63
64
65
66
al
Mobile or traveling housing facility
means a transporting vehicle
such as a truck. trailer. or railway car. used to move or house wild
animals.
67
68
69
ill
Traveling animal act
means the exhibition of a wild animal where
the animal is transported to. from. or between locations for
exhibition, in a mobile or traveling housing facility.
70
71
72
ill
Wild animal
means all animals classified in the following orders
or families except the species noted:
(A)
non-human primates and prosimians;
felidae, except domestic cats;
canidae, except domestic dogs;
ursidae;
marsupialia;
proboscidea;
crocodilia;
artiodactyla, except domestic cattle, bison, American
73
74
au
(Q
(D)
75
76
77
,CE.)
78
79
ill
(ill
(ID
80
F:\LA
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Animal Control - Prohibit Exihbition And Performance\Bill 7.Docx
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BILL No. 23-17
81
buffalo, water buffalo, yak. zebu, gayal. bali cattle, suidae,
sheep, goats, llamas, or alpacas;
82
83
ill
perissodactyla, except domestic horses, ponies, donkeys, or
mules;
84
85
86
87
88
ill
(K)
elasmobranchii; and
pinnipedia.
Prohibition.
Except for any animal act performed for a school as part of
the school's curriculum, a person or business must not financially benefit
from the exhibition of a wild animal in a traveling animal act.
Regulations.
The County Executive may issue regulations under Method
2, to interpret and enforce this subsection.
Approved:
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
Roger Berliner, President, County Council
Date
Approved:
Isiah Leggett, County Executive
Date
This is a correct copy ofCouncil action.
Linda M. Lauer, Clerk of the Council
Date
r:-....
F:\LAW\BILL~3 Animal Control - Prohibit Exihbition And Performance\Bill 7.Docx
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 23-17
Animal Control
-
Performance Animal
-
Violations
DESCRIPTION:
This Bill defines performance animals and prohibits a person or
business from exhibiting or financially benefit from the exhibition of
any performance animal. It also allows enforcement of the
prohibition.
Profiting by exhibition of wide animals creates an incentive for the
capture those animals and creates an excessive opportunity for animal
cruelty.
The goal is to remove the financial incentive for displaying wide
animals.
Police Department - Animal Control Division
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be requested.
To be researched.
Jeff Zyontz, Senior Legislative Analyst, 240 777 7896
To be researched.
PROBLEM:
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
COORDINATION:
FISCAL IMPACT:
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
PENALTIES:
Violations with be subject Class A violation
f:\law\bills\1723 animal control - prohibit exihbition and performance\lrr.do1
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November 2, 2017
The Honorable Roger Berliner
Montgomery County Council President
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
RE:
Bill 23-17-Animal Control-Performance Animal-Violation
Dear President Berliner and Members of the Montgomery County Council:
After countless hours of deliberation with leaders of the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair, the agricultural
community and County officials, we cannot support the content of Bill 23-17 in its current form. We believe that a work
group should be appointed by the County Council which includes Council staff and representatives of the Animal Services
Division, Fair and agricultural community so that we can better understand all implications and potential outcomes of this
legislation. The formation of such a group was recommended during the September 11th work session and we continue to
believe this represents the most productive path forward for all constituencies.
With no known violations concerning the care of exotic performance animals in Montgomery County, current regulations
appear to be working with the Animal Services Division meeting their obligations well. Nevertheless, we are eager to
understand better the concerns of the proponents of Bill 23-17 and to find an appropriate resolution to this matter. By
creating a work group, we can come to a joint understanding of the issues at hand and the need to develop a legislative
approach.
We plan to continue protecting the animals in our care while maintaining the excellent educational programming we
provide to our community. We oppose Bill 23-17 in its current form because it risks altering fundamentally our ability to
continue our great traditions without evidence of harm to the traveling performance animals at our events. To be clear,
without the creation of a work group to review the reasons for and implications of the legislation, we must oppose Bill 23-
17.
Sincerely,
6mJt{;Jf-
Mark Ryba, President
Montgomery County Agricultural Center Inc.
William F. Willard, Chair
Montgomery Ag. Producers
Cc: Montgomery County Council Members,
Jim Clifford, Esquire MC Agricultural Center, Inc.
B~ ~J -
DougUl ider
Mont. Co. Ag. Advisory Committee
6)
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Montgomery County Farm Bureau
PO Box 217, Damascus Maryland 20872
240-308-2978
mcfarmbureausecretary@gmail.com
www.montgomery.mdfarmbureau.com
Montgomery County
Farm Bureau®
--
The Honorable Roger Berliner, President
Montgomery County Council
100 Maryland Avenue, 6th Floor
Rockville, Maryland 20850
November 2, 2017
Dear Mr. Berliner:
The Montgomery County Farm Bureau (MCFB) opposes Bill 23-17. We believe it is an
unnecessary piece of legislation. Given existing animal cruelty laws at the State and County
levels and the fact there have been no known violations concerning traveling wild animal
shows in Montgomery County, a need for the Bill does not exist.
We greatly appreciate the efforts that Council staff have made to modify the bill based upon
our concerns and to narrow the focus of the bill; however, MCFB stands with the Ag
Community and cannot support this bill as written. MCFB sees merit in the County Council
assigning Bill 23-17 to a working group of stakeholders to thoroughly study any potential
future implications to agriculture and understand how other jurisdictions have addressed
similar situations.
Thank you again for working closely with the Ag Community.
Most Sincerely,
Michele
A.
Cropp
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11/03/2017
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Michele
A.
Cropp, President
Montgomery County Farm Bureau
240-304-7767
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November 3, 2017
The Honorable Roger Berliner
Montgomery County Council President
100 Maryland Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
RE: Bill 23-17-Animal Control-Performance Animal-Violation
President Berliner and Members of the Montgomery County Council:
Bill 23-17 has made many twists and turns since it was originally vvritten on February 2,
2017 as an Act, by Ashley Rhinehart Rl"'\J, Senior Food and Nutrition Manager at the
Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and sent to George Leventhal on April 12,
2017.
Since that time it has been considered for placement in Animal Cruelty, Chapter 5,
Animal Control, Sections 5-101, 5-102, and 5-201. This did not prove to be enforceable by
the Animal Welfare Division of Montgomery County as learned at the September 11,
2017 work session. Then it was to be placed in Sec. 5-202. Dangerous and Potentially
Dangerous animals, and this did not work either. Now it is being considered by amending
Chapter 5, Animal Control, Sections 5-101, 5-102, and 5-201, and by adding Chapter 5,
Animal Control, Section 5-204 Traveling Act.
The fact that it has been so difficult to designate where it should be placed in our code, and
that the Animal Welfare Division has no reports on record of animal cruelty by shows that
have exotic animals leads to the conclusion that Montgomery County Maryland does not
have an
animal
abuse problem and no need for Bill 23-17.
It has become commonplace to believe that humane treatment is not exercised by
caretakers of performing animals and exhibits, but that could not be further from the
truth. Performing animals are well respected and are provided with a life full of excellent
medical care, environmental stimulation, and scientific based husbandry practices all of
which are regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the
Animal vVelfare Act (AWA). Those who violate animal cruelty laws should be
J-Iighlightilrag Youila, Agric/Jzlture mad Voharateerism since 1949
16 C!hestnut Street
GaitllD.erslln.ug, Maryland 20877
301-926-3Hll0
mcag.fafr.com
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Page 2
prosecuted under the laws that are in place to protect animals from abusive behavior.
Please remember that as of this date, there are no reported incidents of cruelty against
exotic animals in Montgomery County according to the records of our Animal Welfare
Division.
The intention to stop animal agriculture by the HSUS is evident when a Nutrition Manager
from their organization wrote the first version of Bill 23-17 that was sent to the County
Council.
Additionally:
Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States, told
Animal People News his stated goal is to create
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a National Rifle Association of
the animal rights movement." "Animals are no one's property, and they have the
right not be 'taken,' 'harvested,' or 'culled' or any other euphemism for murder
that wildlife managers use. They are no one's property, just as you and I are no
one's property other than our own."
Paul Shapiro, Vice President of Policy at HSUS, stated
II
eating meat causes
animal cruelty.
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John "J.P." Goodwin, former Political Director at HSUS, currently Senior
Director of the Stop Puppy Mills campaign at HSUS told AR-Views, an animal
rights Internet discussion group, that "My goal is the abolition of all animal
agriculture".
This ·effort to pass Bill 23-17 is the first step in the slow demise of your Montgomery
County Agricultural Fair and animal agriculture in our community. There is no need to
create legislation to satisfy a philosophical agenda that is being promoted by the HSUS to
solve an animal abuse claim that Montgomery County data indicates does not exist. Their
goal is to promote animal regulation and then expand on legislation that is passed in local
communities to move forward with their plan to severely restrict and ultimately stop
animal agriculture.
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16 Chestnut Street
Martin E. Svrcek
Executive Director
Montgomery County Agricultural Fair
Highlighting Youth, Agriculture and Volunteerism since 1949
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877
301-926-3100 mcagfair.com
@