Both houses of the Maryland General Assembly have passed bills to stiffen requirements for roadside zoos without requiring them to be accredited or meet certain safety and animal-care standards.
The Frederick News-Post reported Wednesday that the bills lack restrictions sought by the Humane Society of the United States.
The amended bills would require zoos to carry at least $1 million in liability insurance, employ a full-time director and have staff trained in caring for the animals. The zoos also would have to develop animal relocation plans in case their facilities close, and maintain disease-prevention strategies.
The original bills would have prevented zoos from replacing large animals unless they were accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums or if they hadn’t met certain U.S. Department of Agriculture standards.