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Montgomery Council Committee to Discuss Bill Prohibiting Performance Animals on Sept. 11

For Immediate Release: Friday, September 8, 2017

Montgomery Council Committee to

Discuss Bill Prohibiting Performance Animals on

Monday, September 11

Review of 2012 International Green Construction Code also scheduled

 

ROCKVILLE, Md., September 8, 2017—The Montgomery County Council’s Public Safety (PS) Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, September 11 to review Bill 23-17, Animal Control – Performance Animals – Violations, which would protect wild animals by removing the financial incentives to exhibit such animals in the County. Also at 2 p.m. the Planning, Housing, and Economic Development (PHED) Committee will meet to discuss Executive Regulation 21-15AMII, which would implement the 2012 International Green Construction Code (IgCC).

The PS Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Elrich and includes Councilmembers Hucker and Katz, will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the Seventh Floor Council Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The PHED Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Floreen and includes Councilmembers Leventhal and Riemer, will also meet in the Seventh Floor Council Hearing Room, at 2 p.m.

Introduced on July 27, 2017, Bill 23-17, Animal Control – Performance Animals – Violations, would prohibit the exhibition of performance animals, clearly define the terms “exhibit” and “performance animal,” amend the provisions concerning animal cruelty, and authorize the Animal Control Division to enforce the prohibition. Its lead sponsors are Councilmembers Rice and Leventhal. Cosponsors include Councilmembers Katz, Navarro, Riemer, Elrich, Hucker, and Council President Berliner.

The bill outlines fourteen groups of animals defined as performance animals, such as chimpanzees, lions, tigers, elephants, and snakes. It further amends the provisions concerning animal cruelty, introducing an additional violation: “A person or business must not exhibit or financially benefit from the exhibition of any performance animal in traveling animal act.”

Traveling circuses, performance acts, fairs, and other undertakings where animals are used as entertainment are a particular focus of Bill 23-17. In introducing the bill, Councilmember Rice pointed to the recent “closing of the Barnum and Bailey Circus, which was driven by the concern for the way performing animals were treated,” as “a major driver behind this bill.” He explained that “animals in a large circus such as that one likely were treated better than the animals who are in much smaller circuses with less resources. There are dozens of those types of circuses that go around the country and set up in empty parking lots.”

Further clarifying the abuses targeted by the bill, Councilmember Leventhal expressed the concern that “there is just no way, when the animal is traveling long distances, when the animal is on public display, when - of necessity - the animal is caged, that it can be provided in a manner that’s good for the animal.”

The staff report can be viewed at:

http://montgomerycountymd.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=169&event_id=7401&meta_id=142514 .

The PHED Committee meeting will focus on issues related to energy efficiency and environmental design in construction in the County.  Executive Regulation 21-15AMII would make the 2012 International Green Construction Code (IgCC) the new standard of compliance in the County, starting December 1, 2017. As an alternative to IgCC compliance, the regulation would allow new large (5,000 square feet or more) non-residential buildings to attain Leadership in Environment and Energy Design (LEED) Silver certification with an additional minimum energy efficiency attainment. 

Bill 19-17, introduced by Council President Berliner in June 2017 on behalf of County Executive Leggett, would repeal Article VII of Chapter 8 of the Montgomery County Code. Current County law requires private buildings with 10,000 square feet of gross floor area or larger to be LEED certified, which is a more permissive standard than LEED Silver.  The bill anticipates the approval of Executive Regulation 21-15AMII as the new standard. 

Existing tax incentives for LEED-certified buildings would remain in place but may be a topic for future discussion given the strengthened requirements of Executive Regulation 21-15AMII.

The staff reports on these interconnected issues can be viewed at:

http://montgomerycountymd.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=169&event_id=7402&meta_id=142523 and

http://montgomerycountymd.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=169&event_id=7402&meta_id=142525  .

The Committee meetings will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM). The channel can be viewed on Cable Channels 996 (high definition) and 6 (standard definition) on Comcast; Channels 1056 (HD) and 6 (SD) on RCN; and Channel 30 on Verizon. The meetings also will be available live via streaming through the Council website at http://tinyurl.com/z9982v8 .

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Release ID: 17-270
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 2407777926