Animal Health News for Maryland Veterinarians

Animal Health News for Veterinarians

Mandatory Animal Cruelty Reporting Begins October 1

(Sept. 29, 2017) A bill that passed during the 2017 legislative session requiring veterinarians to report suspected cases of animal cruelty and animal fighting takes effect Sunday, October 1.

House Bill 1463 - Veterinary Practitioners - Animal Cruelty and Animal Fighting – Reporting requires veterinarians who have reason to believe than an animal has been subjected to cruelty or animal fighting to report it to the appropriate law enforcement agencies (i.e., usually the county animal control agency). The bill outlines the protocols for reporting, which include requiring the veterinarian to note the condition of the animal upon presentation in the animal's treatment record; the basis for suspecting cruelty in the animal's treatment record; and promptly reporting the suspected instance. The bill also provides immunity from civil liability to veterinarians who report in good faith or who participate in an investigation of suspected animal cruelty or animal fighting. Veterinarians who do not report are subject to disciplinary action. The Board is currently developing regulations for the bill.

Training Available

The State Board is also working with stakeholder organizations to provide training for veterinarians and veterinary technicians to identify cases of cruelty. A free RACE-approved training session, “Reporting Suspected Abuse: A Roadmap for Complying with Maryland's New Mandatory Reporting Law,” is being offered by Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association and the Humane Society of the United States in Gaithersburg on Wednesday, October 25, starting with dinner at 5:30 p.m. and the training from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Space is limited. Register and more info here​
Veterinarians Must Register for PDMP
All veterinarians who are legally authorized to prescribe controlled dangerous substances (CDS) are required to register with the PDMP. Dispensing of CDS in the veterinary clinic setting is exempted from reporting to the PDMP. Separate from a veterinarian's potential role as a dispenser of CDS, if a veterinarian can legally prescribe CDS for an animal in Maryland, they are required by law to be registered with the PDMP. If you are not in possession of the qualifications to legally prescribe CDS in Maryland, you are not subject to the registration mandate. Read more.​

New ​For Equine Practitioners

Grant Applications for Spay & Neuter Projects Now Being Accepted; Application Deadline is March 31

(Jan. 19, 2017)  The state’s Spay and Neuter Grants Program, administered by the Maryland Department of Agriculture, is soliciting its latest round of applications for competitive grants that will help reduce intake and euthanasia numbers in Maryland animal shelters. Read more

Maryland Department of Agriculture Proposes New Pet Food Regulations.

(January 20, 2017) The Maryland Department of Agriculture is proposing new regulations to establish the requirements for registering pet food and specialty food prior to distribution in Maryland.​ Read more. 

Veterinary Feed Directive Now in Effect  

Effective January 1, 2017, under the Veterinary Feed Directive final ruling, animal producers will need to obtain authorization from a licensed veterinarian to use medically important antimicrobials for treatment, control and prevention of specific animal health problems. Read more:  

2017 Maryland Animal Health Fair & Show Policy

The Maryland Department of Agriculture has announced animal health requirements for the 2017 fair and show season. Under the new regulations, all cattle and swine entering Maryland fairs and shows will be required to have a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag. The new requirements also extend the previous Avian Influenza testing interval from 10 days to 21 days. Also, private sale of poultry will be allowed this year with a record of sale maintained by the fair or show operator for one year. Read more. 

High Path Avian Influenza

While we have been fortunate to date, we must remain vigilant and on-guard for a possible outbreak of High Path Avian Influenza (HPAI). With recent outbreaks in as many as 12 countries throughout Europe and Asia, it remains very possible for the disease to enter the U.S. through migratory flyways. 

For the latest updates on HPAI, visit our Bird Flu Blog​.

Veterinary Feed Directive: How will it affect beekeepers and honeybees?

Under the new regulation, both hobbyist and commercial beekeepers will no longer be able to purchase antimicrobials over the counter, and will be required to obtain a prescription for any antibiotics or antimicrobials given to their honeybees. This will help promote good beekeeping practices, and is truly the most effective way to prevent and control disease in honeybees.​ Read More.


Dr. Michael Radebaugh
State Veterinarian 

410-841-5810 office
800-492-5590 toll free
410-841-5971 after hours

The State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners 
Media Inquiries: Public Information Officer Jason Schellhardt,