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!
Make Possession of Animal Fighting Paraphernalia Illegal in Maryland and Close the Loophole in Our Dogfighting law.
Dogfighting is cruelty on an extreme scale and brings organized crime, guns, and drug dealing to our neighborhoods. Animal fighting is a brutal contest in which two animals are put in a pit to fight to the death or near-death of one of the animals. In some instances, one of the animals may be a bait dog, cat, or other animal. Dogfighting is violent, sadistic, and illegal.
Animal fighters use specialized equipment to ready animals for fighting and to stage the illegal fights. Dogfighters use contraptions on the animals such as rape stands to forcibly impregnate dogs, cat mills where smaller live animals are used as practice prey, and treadmills for training with heavy weights around the animal’s neck and body. Although dog fighting is a felony in all 50 states, possessing dog fighting equipment for illegal fighting is not a crime in Maryland.
This is a serious loophole in Maryland's law. Maryland needs to rid our communities of dogfighting, and outlawing possession of animal fighting paraphernalia is critically important to this effort.Read the rest of: Dog Fighting, A Compassionate Conversation
On Monday (10/26/15), Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) once again allowed Maryland’s black bears to be trophy hunted. There are no quotas on the total number of bears the hunters can kill.
Even the baby bears, called cubs, are legal. Some killed in the past were under 6 months old.
Children can hunt too, wielding high-powered rifles as weapons assuming they have the proper licenses. Five year olds have passed the necessary Maryland “Hunter Education Requirements.” In addition, hunters may use bows and arrows as killing instruments: A practice requiring them to hit the bear with an arrow, then wait and track it after it suffers from its wound while "bleeding out", assuming the hunter can even find the bear at all after it runs away hurt.
DNR has ignored the wishes of the majority of Marylanders, who oppose bear hunting (according a survey conducted by Gonzales Research and Marketing Strategies). DNR has also refused a $75,000 offer from HSUS to pay farmers for alleged crop damage caused by black bears in return for not opening bear hunting season at all.
DNR has yet to produce any scientific evidence supporting a need for holding these generalized bear hunts. Instead, virtually all of the written documentation points to requests by hunting lobby groups asking DNR for a bear hunting season.
Bear hunting in Maryland represents a classic example of how the less than 2% of Marylanders who hunt, have a stranglehold on our statewide elected politicians, and our DNR policies and philosophy about wildlife management in our state. Time for change is long overdue.Read the rest of: Maryland Black Bear Trophy Killing Starts Monday!
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."
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
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 Votes to Keep Sundays protected during hunting season!