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The Maryland House Environment and Transportation Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Friday, January 15, 2021, on House Bill 293, and the Maryland Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on Thursday, January 21, 2021, on Senate Bill 200.  These identical bills seek to prohibit contests where the sole objective is the killing of certain wildlife for prizes or monetary awards.  It further clarifies that any prohibition will not apply to lawful dog training or dog competition events.  The AKC supports this language that protects both training activities and performance events.

Legislative History:

HB 293 and SB 200 are reintroductions of HB 863 from last session.  In its original form, HB 863 was titled:  “AN ACT concerning  Natural Resources – Organized Hunting Contests – Restrictions” and sought to prohibit a person from sponsoring, conducting, or participating in certain organized contests that have the objective of hunting or killing certain wildlife for prizes or monetary awards.  As first introduced, the bill would have negatively impacted field trials and other American Kennel Club (AKC) sanctioned events.

After discussions with the AKC and the Sportsmen Alliance, the bill was amended to exclude lawful dog training or dog competition events.  The word “hunting” was removed from the title as well, and was renamed “AN ACT concerning Natural Resources – Organized Killing Contest – Restrictions”.

HB 293 and SB 200 both contain the exclusion for lawful dog training or dog competition and the modified title.   AKC appreciates the sponsors’ willingness to keep the amendment in the 2021 legislation that ensure performance events and training are protected.

What You Can Do:

Those who wish may contact the members of the committees prior to the hearings. Let them know that you appreciate and support the inclusion of the language that protects field trials, training, and canine performance events.  If you are a constituent, or participate in performance events in their district, be sure to mention that when contacting them:

AKC Government Relations will continue to monitor the bills.  For questions or more information, email doglaw@akc.org.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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