Born Free USA united with Animal Protection Institute

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February 24, 2014

Tell Maryland Legislators that Run-Down Zoos are No Place for Wild Animals!


Dear Friend,

Roadside zoos are notorious for being inhumane, unsafe, and poorly regulated. A recent report by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) proved that this is certainly true in Maryland, so legislators have introduced a bill to address these serious animal welfare and public safety concerns. We need you to speak up in support of S.B. 827/H.B. 1124 before their upcoming hearings!

HSUS’s report looked at three of Maryland's roadside zoos—Catoctin Zoo, Plumpton Park Zoo, and Tri-State Zoo—and uncovered deeply disturbing conditions. Despite having a USDA license, these unaccredited facilities failed to provide basic care to many animals; had infrastructure in disrepair; had filthy, foul-smelling, and unsanitary conditions; and had inadequate staffing, among countless other concerns. Investigators found tigers living in empty, deteriorating swimming pools; primates living in crowded or isolated conditions without adequate environmental enrichment; bears exhibiting neurotic behaviors; and dangerous, outdated cages. 

S.B. 827/H.B. 1124 would close a loophole in Maryland law that currently allows many exotic pet owners and unqualified facilities to continue to keep, breed, and acquire these species by obtaining a USDA license. This bill would also prohibit public contact with specified exotic animals under any circumstances. Please urge your state legislators to make the compassionate decision and support this bill – for the sake of both animals and people in Maryland!

For the animals,


P.S. You can help us monitor these inhumane roadside zoos. Just visit our Zoo Check page to learn what you can do to be the animals' eyes and ears.

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