Statutes

Statute by categorysort ascending Citation Summary
MD - Hunting, Internet - § 10-426. Hunting with guns or devices via Internet connection prohibited MD Code, Natural Resources, § 10-426 This statute prohibits hunting via the Internet with the state of Maryland. Violation of the statute could result in a misdemeanor conviction, a fine not exceeding $10,000, imprisonment, and hunting license revocation.
MD - Hunting - Title 10. Wildlife. MD Code, Natural Resources, § 10-422 This law reflects Maryland's hunter harassment provision. While on private land that is owned by another person or in a hunting area on land managed by the Department, a person may not intentionally interfere with the lawful taking of wildlife or harass, drive, or disturb any game animal intentionally for the purpose of disrupting a lawful hunt. A Natural Resources officer or other police officer who has probable cause to believe that a person has violated the section may order the person to leave the area or arrest that person if he or she refuses to leave.
MD - Hunting - Subtitle 9. Captive Wildlife. MD Code, Natural Resources, § 10-901 - 911 This Maryland statute states that it is in the state's public interest to preserve native species by strictly regulating the possession, importation, exportation, breeding, raising, protection, rehabilitation, hunting, killing, trapping, capture, purchase, or sale of certain wildlife which pose a possibility of harm to native wildlife.
MD - Humane Slaughter - Maryland Wholesome Meat Act MD Code, Agriculture, § 4-101 - 131 This section comprises Maryland's "Wholesome Meat Act." Included are laws related to licensing of slaughtering establishments, labeling of meat, and the state's humane slaughter provisions. The humane slaughter provisions state that it is the policy of the State to prevent inhumane methods of livestock slaughter at an official establishment. Humane methods include those by which livestock are rendered insensible to pain, by a single blow or gunshot, or by an electrical, chemical, or other rapid and effective means, before being shackled, hoisted, thrown, cast, or cut. Ritual slaughter defined by statute is also considered humane if done in compliance with the act. Use of a manually operated hammer, sledge, or poleax during a slaughtering operation is considered inhumane. Note that "livestock" here explicitly excludes poultry or other fowl. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $100 for each violation.
MD - Humane officers - § 1-1314. Humane society or animal control officers; education and training requirements MD Code, Local Government, § 1-1314 This Maryland law, added in 2021, creates education and training requirements for new humane and animal control officers. The training requires satisfactory completion of at least 80 hours of animal care and control coursework as described in the law. There are also continuing education requirements on an annual basis.
MD - Habitat - Subtitle 7. State Chesapeake Bay and Endangered Species Fund MD Code, Natural Resources, § 1-705 Maryland law specifically allocates funds for the habitat protection, conservation, and propagation of endangered and threatened species. This fund has a provision that designates this fund for the monitoring, surveying, and protection of bald eagle nest sites in addition to other wildlife.
MD - Fur - Title 10. Wildlife. MD Code, Natural Resources, § 10-408.1 This Maryland law restricts some forms of trapping. Specifically, it provides that a person, while trapping or attempting to trap animals, may not place, set, maintain, or operate any snares, body-gripping, or leghold traps within 150 yards of a permanent human residence. However, the restriction does not apply to body-gripping traps with a jaw spread of less than 6 inches that are placed, maintained, and operated completely submerged in water or snare-type traps used to catch rats or mice.
MD - Food Service - § 21-304.2. Restaurant patrons with dogs Md. Code Ann., Health-Gen. § 21-304.2 This Maryland statute deals with the eligibility of restaurants for dog admission. Under the statute, a restaurant with an outdoor dining area may allow a patron’s dog to accompany the patron in the outdoor dining area. The statute requires that the owner of the restaurant notify the local health department of the owner’s intention to allow dogs in the outdoor dining area at least 30 days prior to any dogs being allowed in the outdoor dining area. Additionally, the owner may limit the amount of space available for dogs, the size and type of dog allowed in the outdoor dining area, and may reject and patron with a dog at his or her discretion.
MD - Exotic pets - Subtitle 6. Crimes Relating to Animals. MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-621 Under this Maryland law, a person may not import into the State, offer for sale, trade, barter, possess, breed, or exchange the following species of animals: foxes, skunks, raccoons, bears, caimans, alligators, crocodiles, wild cats, wolves, nonhuman primates, and venomous snakes. Animal sanctuaries, AWA licensed facilities, those holding valid permits from the Department of Natural Resources, and veterinarians are exempted. This section does not prohibit a person who had lawful possession of an animal listed above on or before May 31, 2006, from continuing to possess that animal if the person provided written notification to the local animal control authority on or before August 1, 2006. Violation results in a fine and seizure of the animal(s).
MD - Equine Transport - Subtitle 9. Transporting Horses. MD Code, Agriculture §§ 3-901 - 903 This Maryland section provides the requirements for transporting horses. The law states that "[a] person may not transport a horse in a vehicle that is not designed and constructed in a manner that at all times protects the health and well-being of the horse being transported." Of importance is the provision that limits the vehicle used to transport the horses to one level (e.g., no double-deck trailers are allowed). Violation of the law incurs a civil penalty in the amount of $500 per horse for the first offense and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.
MD - Endangered Species - Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act MD Code, Natural Resources, § 10-2A-01 - 09 These Maryland statutes comprise the Nongame and Endangered Species Conservation Act. Under the Act, any species designated under the federal Endangered Species Act is deemed an endangered species as are other species designated by the state secretary based on habitat and population factors. Violators of the Act shall be fined not more than $1,000 or be imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both and equipment used in the taking of designated species may be seized.
MD - Emergency - § 5-614. Veterinary aid, care or assistance MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 5-614 This Maryland law provides that certain individuals including veterinarians, licensed medical providers, first responders, volunteer fire fighters, and designated local government employees who are responding to a call in the community are not civilly liable for any act or omission in giving any veterinary aid, care, or assistance to an animal where the owner or custodian of the animal is not available to grant permission. Certain requirements must be met per subsection (b) for immunity from civil liability.
MD - Ecoterrorism - Title 6. Crimes Against Property. MD Code, Criminal Law, § 6-208 This law reflects Maryland's "ecoterrorism"/animal research interference law. A person may not break and enter a research facility without the permission of the research facility with the intent to: obtain unauthorized control over research property; alter or eradicate research property; damage or deface research property; move research property in a manner intended to cause harm to it; destroy or remove research property; or engage in conduct that results in the removal of research property. Violation of the law is a felony with imprisonment of up to 5 years or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
MD - Domestic Violence - Subtitle 5. Domestic Violence. MD Code, Family Law, § 4-501, 504.1 This Maryland law amended in 2011 allows an interim protective order to award temporary possession of any pet (defined in Section 4-501 as a domesticated animal except livestock) to the person eligible for relief or the respondent. This law also allows the court to issue temporary or final protective orders awarding temporary possession of any pet of the person eligible for relief or the respondent.
MD - Dogs - Consolidated Dog Laws MD Code, Local Government, § 13-101 - 134; MD Code, Transportation, § 21-1004.1; MD Code, Natural Resources, § 10-413, 416, 701, 703, and 807; MD Code, Public Safety, § 2-313; MD Code, Health General, § 18-312 - 321; MD Code, General Provisions, § 7-304 These statutes comprise Maryland's dog laws. Maryland is unique in that the state law governs the specific licensing and other regulations certain counties may adopt or enforce. Also included are the state rabies provisions and even the law that designates the state dog (the Chesapeake Bay retriever).
MD - Dangerous Animals - Part IV. Animal Control MD Code, Health-General, § 18-217 - 222 This chapter of Maryland laws declares that it is in the public interest to ensure public health and safety by strictly regulating the possession, breeding, and importation of certain animals that pose risks to humans. Certain animals such as domestic dogs, cats, and ferrets; animal used for agricultural, scientific, or education purposes; and animals used for public exhibitions are excluded from the provisions of this section. Any person who imports, transports, sells, transfers, breeds, raises, keeps, or possesses any animal which is prohibited under regulations promulgated by the Secretary is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $500, or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year, or both.
MD - Cruelty - Consolidated Cruelty Statutes MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-601 - 626; MD Code, Criminal Law, § 3-322 This Maryland statutory section comprises the state's anti-cruelty provisions. Under the section, "animal" means a living creature except a human being. "Cruelty" is defined as the unnecessary or unjustifiable physical pain or suffering caused or allowed by an act, omission, or neglect, and includes torture and torment. Agricultural, veterinary, research, and "an activity that may cause unavoidable physical pain to an animal, including food processing, pest elimination, animal training, and hunting. . . " are excluded from the purview of the act.
MD - Courthouse dog - § 9-501. Court Dog Program MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 9-501 This statute, enacted in 2020, creates a Court Dog Program for Maryland for participating counties. The program functions in a circuit court that participates in the Program and provides a facility dog or therapy dog to a child witness in the circuit court proceeding or other related court process, meeting, or interview in the State. It also operates in a circuit court or District Court that offers a veterans treatment court program where it provides a facility dog or therapy dog to a veteran participating in a veterans treatment court proceeding or other related court process or meeting in the State.
MD - Bite - Maryland Dangerous Dog Laws MD Code, Criminal Law, § 10-619 This Maryland statute outlines what is a "Dangerous dog." As defined by statute, it is a dog that, without provocation, has killed or inflicted severe injury on a person, or it is a potentially dangerous dog that bites a person, when not on its owner's real property, kills or inflicts severe injury on a domestic animal, or attacks without provocation. An owner of a dangerous dog must keep the dog securely enclosed on his or her property or must muzzle and restrain the dog. A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $2,500.
MD - Assistance Animal - Assistance Animal/Guide Dog Laws MD Code, Local Government, § 13-104; MD Code, Human Services, § 7-701 - 709; MD Code, Transportation, § 21-511; MD Code, Health - General, § 13-4101 - 4106; MD Code, State Government, § 20-706 The following statutes comprise Maryland's relevant assistance animal/guide dog laws.
MD - Animal Shelters - Subtitle 17. Animal Shelters MD Code, Agriculture, § 2-1701 - 1707 This chapter effective October 1, 2016 states that the intent is to enhance animal shelter services by promoting humane animal sheltering policies and strengthening community safety. Before January 1, 2017, an animal shelter shall establish a written veterinary care protocol for dogs and cats that is consistent with guidelines set forth in the most recent Association of Shelter Veterinarians' Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters. That same date, an animal shelter must post on the animal shelter's Web site or in a conspicuous location within the animal shelter's facility a written protocol for reclaiming animals from the animal shelter that includes the minimum holding period for stray animals, the hours of operation, the fees for reclaiming an animal, and the documentation/identification required for reclaiming. Violation of this subtitle results in a civil penalty of $500.
MD - Animal control - § 1-1315. Adoption fee waiver for veterans at animal control facilities MD Code, Local Government, § 1-1315 This Maryland statute, enacted in 2021, states that an animal control facility operated by a county or municipality shall waive the adoption fee for a dog or cat adopted by a veteran who presents a valid driver's license or identification card issued by the Motor Vehicle Administration that includes a notation of veteran status in accordance with § 12-302 of the Transportation Article. The animal control facility may limit the number of adoption fee waivers granted to an individual under this subsection to one dog and one cat within a 6-month period.
Massachusetts General Law Statutes 1921: Sections 77-96 Mass. Gen. L., 77-96 (1921) The 1921 of Massachusetts General Laws sections 77-96 cover the following topics: animal cruelty, treatment of horses, bird fighting, shooting of pigeons, procedural issues concerning an arrest for cruelty to animals, and transportation of animals.
Massachusetts General Law Statutes 1860-1872: Chapter 344: Sections 1-3 Mass. Gen. L. ch. 344 (1869) The Massachusetts law from 1869 stated in Chapter 344 concerns the treatment of animals. The first section is a generic animal cruelty act. The second section details the punishment for owners of animals that allow their animals to be treated cruelly by a third party. The third section concerns the treatment of animals during transportation.
Massachusetts 1854-1859: Chapter 96: An act to prevent cruelty to animals Mass. Gen, Laws ch. 96, §§ 1-2 (1859) Section 1 from Chapter 96 of Massachusetts General Laws of 1859 covers cruelty to animals.  Specifically, the law covers what qualifies as cruelty to animals and the punishment for it.
Maryland General Laws Supplement 1890-1898: Cruelty to Animals 1890 Md. Laws 142,198,340 The Maryland General Laws supplement covers the additions to the Cruelty of Animals statutes for Maryland from 1890-1898. The amendments cover court procedure to implementation of specific laws for certain animals.
Manila Conference on Animal Welfare The Manila Conference on Animal Welfare recognizes: That animal welfare is an issue worth consideration by governments. That the promotion of animalof animal welfare requires collective action and all stakeholders and affected parties must be involved. That work on animal welfare is a continuous process. RECOGNIZING that animals are living, sentient beings and therefore deserve due consideration and respect.
Malawi National Parks and Wildlife Act No 11 of 1992

This law represented a major redraft of the old British game law. It protects endangered species and parks. It also sets out the general game law. Notably it also requires the use of environmental impact statements.

Maine: An Act against Sodomy and Bestiality. 1821 Me. Laws 5. An Act concerning the punishment for Sodomy and Bestiality for Maine in 1821.
Maine Laws: Chapter 182 'Lands reserved for public uses.' 1883 Me. Laws 182 The act concerns the allocation of land for the public use within a township.
MA - Veterinary - Veterinary Practice Laws M.G.L.A. 112 § 54 - 60 These are the state's veterinary practice laws. Among the provisions include licensing requirements, laws concerning the state veterinary board, veterinary records laws, and the laws governing disciplinary actions for impaired or incompetent practitioners.
MA - Vehicle - § 22H. Safe transportation of animals M.G.L.A. 90 § 22H In Massachusetts, transporting an animal in the back of a motor vehicle on a public way unless such space is enclosed or has side and tail racks to a height of at least 46 inches extending vertically from the floor, the animal is cross tethered to the vehicle, the animal is protected by a secured container or cage or the animal is otherwise protected in a manner which will prevent the animal from being thrown or from falling or jumping from the vehicle results in a fine of not less than $50.
MA - Possession - Chapter 131. Inland Fisheries and Game and Other Natural Resources. M.G.L.A. 131 § 75A Massachusetts specifically protects the eagle as a bird of prey from hunting or possession, unless provided by permit. The law further prohibits the possession, harassment or harming of the eggs and nests of birds of prey. Notably, sale and transportation are not specifically listed under the statute.
MA - Police animals - 9A Emergency treatment of police dogs M.G.L.A. 111C § 9A This 2022 Massachusetts law mandates that EMS personnel provide emergency treatment to a police dog injured in the line of duty and transport such police dog by ambulance to a veterinary care facility equipped to provide emergency treatment to dogs. EMS personnel shall not transport an injured police dog if providing such transport would inhibit their ability to provide emergency medical attention or transport to a person requiring such services. The law also outlines training for EMS personnel in treating police dogs.
MA - Pet Trust - Chapter 203. Trusts. M.G.L.A. 203E § 408 In 2011, Massachusetts enacted this law, which allows the creation of a trust for the continuing care of an animal alive during the settlor's lifetime. The trust terminates upon the death of the last animal named in the trust. A court may reduce the amount of property held by the trust if it determines that the amount substantially exceeds the amount required for the intended use and the court finds that there will be no substantial adverse impact in the care, maintenance, health or appearance of the covered animal. The statute was renumbered in 2012.
MA - Pet Sales Age Restriction - Chapter 129. Livestock Disease Control M.G.L.A. 129 § 39G; § 43 This statute provides that any dog or cat brought or shipped into the commonwealth shall be accompanied by an official health certificate issued by an accredited veterinarian, a copy of which shall be sent to the commissioner of agricultural resources. Further, a commercial establishment, pet shop, firm or corporation shall not import into the commonwealth, for sale or resale in the commonwealth, a cat or dog less than 8 weeks of age.
MA - Lost Property - Chapter 134. Lost Goods and Stray Beasts M.G.L.A. 134 § 1 - 7 This section comprises Massachusetts' Lost Goods and Stray Beasts Act.
MA - Lien - § 24. Domestic animals; care and custody M.G.L.A. 255 § 24 Persons having proper charges due them for pasturing, boarding or keeping horses or other domestic animals which are brought to their premises or placed in their care by or with the consent of the owners thereof shall have a lien on such animals for such charges.
MA - Leash - § 174B. Restraint of dogs in public highway rest areas; penalty M.G.L.A. 140 § 174B This Massachusetts law states that whoever is the owner or keeper of a dog shall restrain said dog by a chain or leash when in an officially designated public highway rest area. Whoever violates the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $100.
MA - Initiatives - Question 3, Minimum Size Requirements for Farm Animal Containment (2016) Question 3 Massachusetts Question 3 is a law proposed by initiative petition and appears on the 2016 ballot. This proposed law would prohibit any farm owner or operator from knowingly confining any breeding pig, calf raised for veal, or egg-laying hen in a way that prevents the animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending its limbs, or turning around freely. The Secretary of the Commonwealth's official summary states: "This proposed law would prohibit any farm owner or operator from knowingly confining any breeding pig, calf raised for veal, or egg-laying hen in a way that prevents the animal from lying down, standing up, fully extending its limbs, or turning around freely. The proposed law would also prohibit any business owner or operator in Massachusetts from selling whole eggs intended for human consumption or any uncooked cut of veal or pork if the business owner or operator knows or should know that the hen, breeding pig, or veal calf that produced these products was confined in a manner prohibited by the proposed law. The proposed law would exempt sales of food products that combine veal or pork with other products, including soups, sandwiches, pizzas, hotdogs, or similar processed or prepared food items." A "yes" vote would prohibit any confinement of pigs, calves, and hens that prevents them from lying down, standing up, fully extending their limbs, or turning around freely. A "no" vote would make no change in current laws relative to the keeping of farm animals.
MA - Initiatives - Question 3, 2000 (dog racing) Question 3 (2000) This Massachusetts ballot question asked voters in 2000 whether they wanted to prohibit in Massachusetts any dog racing where any form of betting or wagering on the speed or ability of dogs occurs. Any person violating the proposed law could be required to pay a civil penalty of not less than $20,000 to the State Racing Commission. The question failed with 49% voting "yes" and 51% voting "no" on the question.
MA - Initiatives - 2008 Question 3 (dog racing) Question 3 (2008) This proposed law would prohibit any dog racing or racing meeting in Massachusetts where any form of betting or wagering on the speed or ability of dogs occurs. The State Racing Commission would be prohibited from accepting or approving any application or request for racing dates for dog racing. Any person violating the proposed law could be required to pay a civil penalty of not less than $20,000 to the Commission. All existing parts of the chapter of the state's General Laws concerning dog and horse racing meetings would be interpreted as if they did not refer to dogs. These changes would take effect January 1, 2010. The measure was approved by a margin of 65% to 35 %.
MA - Hunting, Internet - § 65A. Online Shooting or Spearing M.G.L.A. 131 § 65A This statute prohibits hunting via the Internet and the operation of online hunting businesses within the state of Massachusetts. Violation is punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 2 1/2 years or by a fine of not more than $2,500, or by both a fine and imprisonment.
MA - Hunting - Chapter 131. Inland Fisheries and Game and Other Natural Resources. M.G.L.A. 131 § 5C This law reflects Massachusetts' hunter harassment provision. Under the law, no person shall obstruct, interfere with or otherwise prevent the lawful taking of fish or wildlife by another at the locale where such activity is taking place. Acts prohibited include, but are not limited to, driving or disturbing wildlife, harassing another engaged in lawful taking of fish or wildlife, interjecting oneself into the line of fire, or erecting barriers to prevent access. A person may seek an injunction to prevent violation of this section and a person who sustains damages from any act in violation of the law may bring a civil action for punitive damages.
MA - Horse - § 3. Sleigh or sled; bells M.G.L.A. 89 § 3 This Massachusetts law states that no person shall travel on a way with a sleigh or sled drawn by a horse, unless there are at least three bells attached to some part of the harness.
MA - Fur, labeling - Chapter 94. Inspection and Sale of Food, Drugs and Various Articles. M.G.L.A. 94 § 277A This law represents Massachusetts' fur labelling law. Under the law, all natural, dyed or imitation furs, and all articles made wholly or partly therefrom, sold at retail within the commonwealth, shall be plainly marked or labelled with an accurate statement of the material which they contain, together with the name and address of the seller. Whoever violates any provision of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than two hundred dollars.
MA - Fur - Chapter 131. Inland Fisheries and Game and Other Natural Resources. M.G.L.A. 131 § 80A Massachusetts law provides that a person may not use or possess any trap for capturing furbearing mammals except for common mouse and rat traps, nets, and box or cage traps. Traps designed to capture and hold a furbearing mammal by gripping the mammal's body, or body part are prohibited, including steel jaw leghold traps, padded leghold traps, and snares. This prohibition does not apply to federal, state, or municipal departments for the protection from threats to human health and safety (e.g., beaver or muskrat caused flooding or damage).
MA - Exotic Pets - Chapter 131. Inland Fisheries and Game and Other Natural Resources. M.G.L.A. 131 § 77A Massachusetts bans hybrid animals, those offspring of mating between a domestic animal and its wild counterpart, usually wolves and dogs. No individual may possess or own a hybrid as a pet.
MA - Exotic pet, breeding - Chapter 131. Inland Fisheries and Game and Other Natural Resources. M.G.L.A. 131 § 23 Massachusetts bans private possession of exotic pets, and requires licenses for those who deal and propagate wild species for other reasons. The Massachusetts director of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife also issues a list of exempted species for which no permit is needed.
MA - Equine transport - License plates for vehicles transporting equine animals M.G.L.A. 129 § 46 - 48 This Massachusetts law provides that vehicles transporting equines must have a special license plate. Also, the use of multiple deck vehicles or the so-called "possum belly" vehicle used in the transportation of equine animals is prohibited.

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