Maryland Hearing on 2/7 to Consider Troublesome Expansion of Kennel Licensing Laws

The Maryland House Environment and Transportation Committee is scheduled to consider a bill on Tuesday, February 7, that will significantly expand who must obtain a local kennel license.

The Maryland House Environment and Transportation Committee is scheduled to consider a bill on Tuesday, February 7, that will significantly expand who must obtain a local kennel license.

Current law requires those who meet the following requirements to obtain a kennel license from a local licensing agency:

  • Keep 15 or more unspayed female dogs over the age of 6 months kept for the purpose of breeding the dogs and selling their offspring, AND
  • Selling dogs from 6 or more litters in one year

House Bill 334 would change this definition to require all who:

  • Keep 8 or more unspayed female dogs over the age of 6 months kept for the purposes of breeding the dogs and selling their offspring, OR
  • Sell dogs from 6 or more litters in one year

In current law, the fact that someone must meet both criteria made it easier to determine who must be licensed, as it was based not just on ownership but on actual sales.  The proposed definition in HB 334 not only lowers the threshold of dogs required for licensing, but it also removes sales as a prerequisite for licensing as a kennel. 

  • Owners who do not wish to be licensed as kennels will now have to prove they are not keeping their dogs “for the purpose of breeding and selling their offspring”. HB 334 does not provide information on what would be considered acceptable proof that dogs were not kept for this purpose.
  • Additionally, current law allows counties to establish their own license fee scale to cover the cost of oversight.  This vast expansion is likely to result in significant fee increases by counties in order for them to administer all the new licenses. 

Visit the AKC Legislative Action Center for more information and talking points on AKC’s position on breeder and kennel regulations.

Maryland residents who wish to express comments or concerns on House Bill 334 are encouraged to call and email members of the Environment and Transportation Committee prior to the hearing on Tuesday, February 7.  Click on the individual names on the committee page to access their contact information. 

For more information, contact doglaw@akc.org.


 

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