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  News from the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association                                                   Summer 2012

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Legislative Synopsis for 2012
by Tom Armitage, DVM

Three important issues have come up this past year that the MVMA has addressed or is currently addressing.

First, a bill (SB 912) was introduced to the Maryland Environmental Matters committee in February which proposed to change wording in the State Code from animal “ownership” to animal “guardianship.” Although well-meaning, this bill was not judiciously prepared nor well thought out. The unintended consequences would have far reaching adverse effects for our profession. A large number of our members contacted committee delegates to stand in opposition. As well, 11 members, our legal counsel and executive director represented MVMA at the committee hearing. We were successful in having this proposed legislation “die” in committee.

Second, a “Spay-Neuter Task Force” was formed at the state level for exploratory purposes. Dr. Susan McDonough is representing the MVMA on this task force and will be keeping us up to date on its findings.

Last, as many members may already be aware, the Maryland Court of Appeals issued a decision this past spring now called the “Solesky Decision” that distinguishes Pit Bull and Pit Bull mixes as dangerous dogs. The MVMA echoes the AVMA in opposing any breed-specific legislation. The MVMA has pledged our support to stand in opposition to the Solesky decision. If members want to get involved, a great resource for their efforts is through the Maryland Dog Federation (marylanddogfederation@yahoo.com) or the Maryland Animal Law Center (marylandanimallawcenter@gmail.com). They have set up fast and easy ways to contact state legislators and committee members. We urge all members to find out more about the Solesky issue and ways to get involved.
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