May 2007

SB 817, Thoroughbred Racing – Restrictions on Night and Sunday Racing – Repeal.
This bill was a real “sleeper.” Introduced by Senator Della (Baltimore City) for the second year in a row, the bill repeals statutory restrictions currently in place for Thoroughbred racing in Maryland: 1. Thoroughbred racing cannot be held after 6:15 p.m. except under specified circumstances; 2. Mile Thoroughbred racing may not be held on Sundays unless approved by the Maryland Racing Commission and then the racing cannot start until after noon; and 3. The Maryland State Fair may not hold a race on Sunday except during the Fair. This bill merely codifies existing practices under the new 15-year racing industry agreement (see March Equiery). SB 817 was passed by both houses.

HB 1352, Maryland Horse Industry Board – Rescue Stables, easily passed both houses and was signed into law by the Governor on April 10; from now on, rescue stables will be subject to the same standards for licensing as riding and boarding stables; prior to this legislation, there was no oversight of rescue facilities.

HB 1433, Department of Agriculture- Animal Health Enforcement.

HB 1433 prohibits a person from willfully making a false statement to the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) regarding the identity, location, place of origin or destination, or health status of an animal. MDA may bring an action for an injunction against any person violating the prohibitions or any valid order or quarantine issued by MDA. This bill has passed both houses. No more fudging your Coggins if you misplace it or are late getting it! You could now get fined or worse.