Maryland Votes for Animals (MVFA) is an organization with one overriding mission: To create an ever-growing voting bloc of animal advocates who will elect representatives willing to champion and vote for animal protection legislation, and to hold politicians accountable to their constituents.
Want to get involved with helping animals? Start here!
A U.S. District Court has ruled (for the first time ever) that a state Ag-Gag law is unconstitutional! The case, filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, is a huge step in preventing notoriously harmful Ag-Gag legislation in Maryland and across the country. The court found an Idaho Ag-Gag law violated the 1st and 14th Amendments and was motivated by unconstitutional animus against animal advocates.
Under Ag-Gag laws, journalists and members of the public are at risk for documenting animal cruelty or life-threatening safety violations. In holding the Ag-Gag law unconstitutional, the Court found:
- "ALDF has come forward with abundant evidence that the law was enacted with the discriminatory purpose of silencing animal rights activists who conduct undercover investigations in the agricultural industry."
- "The effect of the statute will be to suppress speech...concerning topics of great public importance: the safety of the public food supply, the safety of agricultural workers, the treatment and health of farm animals, and the impact of business activities on the environment."
- "[A] purpose to discriminate and silence animal welfare groups in an effort to protect a powerful industry cannot justify the passage of [the law]."
- "A state cannot pick and choose what type of speech or expressive conduct it will allow based on content."
- "Protecting the private interests of a powerful industry, which produces the public’s food supply, against public scrutiny is not a legitimate government interest."
Animal Protection in the 2015 Maryland General Assembly
The 2015 Session of the Maryland General Assembly adjourned at midnight on April 13th, and will reconvene on January 13, 2016. While the legislature failed to pass any animal protection bills this session, we will not be discouraged in our determination to get action on animal protection legislation that will stop cruelty.
Get on the Animal Action List HERE.
The humane treatment of animals is vitally important to Marylanders!
There were 57 bills listed this session as animal related, includingRead the rest of: 2015 Legislative Report and Voting Records
SB-393 / HB-362 - Costs of Care for Seized Animals - will hold owners of abused and neglected animals accountable!
Update END OF 2015 SESSION: The Abused Animals Costs of Care bill did not pass and unfortunately died at midnight 4/13/15 when the Maryland General Assembly adjourned the 2015 session. This bill is critical to the enforcement of existing cruelty laws. The MGA will be adjourned until January 2016. The 2015 Legislative wrap-up and voting records are HERE.
Stay tuned to upcoming animal protection issues by making sure you and all your friends are signed up for important Animal Alerts at Animal Action List . We must all work to increase the number of people involved who can provide a voice to Maryland's voiceless and protect animals and people who care! Strength in numbers! Sign up!
UPDATE 3/18/15: The Judiciary Committee has voted UNFAVORABLY on HB153, the Extreme Weather Protection bill for chained dogs. This is extremely disappointing. This bill, which had widespread support, would have eased the suffering of dogs across Maryland. We are regrouping and will begin work on next steps to help these dogs and puppies left on the end of a chain - Please stay tuned. This is an issue that needs to be addressed!
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1. Make sure you, your friends, family, and co-workers sign up for MVFA action alerts. We must all work to increase the number of people involved who can help provide a voice to Maryland's voiceless and protect animals and people who care! This is the best way to have a powerful impact! Strength in numbers! We send you an alert when something needs to be done, you choose whether to do it. It's easy, it's simple, and it makes a huge difference! Legislators want to hear from their constituents - it helps them to know how their voters want them to vote on an issue.
2. When you see a chained dog (or any animal) suffering or in distress, contact your local animal control office asap and give them the details and location of the animal. They have a large area to cover, and cannot see everything that you and I might be able to see. They want to know about these animals who are suffering so terribly. If you could then let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org) and send us any pictures you might have regarding the incident. We cannot respond to the inquiry, only animal control is allowed to do that, but we can track the incident. Thank you.
3. Please send stories, videos, or photos to email@example.com - sadly there are some who do not understand the seriousness of the problem and suffering of chained dogs in Maryland.
Read the rest of: Protect Chained Dogs in Extreme Weather
Keep Sundays protected for animals and people!
UPDATE 2/13/15: UPDATE: Excellent News! Baltimore County delegation voted this morning (Friday 2/13) to protect Baltimore County's way of life. Baltimore County residents get to keep their Sunday day of rest and outdoor safety for animals, people and families. Kudos to the legislators who bravely took a stand on this issue. Vote count will be published when available!Read the rest of: Baltimore County Weighs New Sunday Hunting
This event is now over. Thank you for coming to Annapolis and speaking for those who cannot. Without you, they have no voice. Your presence made a huge difference for animals all across Maryland. Thank you!
Read the rest of: You're Invited to Voices For Animals Day 2015!