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Md. roadside zoos object to proposed restrictions

Thursday - 2/27/2014, 1:40pm  ET

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- Three Maryland roadside zoos are objecting to a bill in the General Assembly that could bar them from obtaining new big cats, bears and primates.

The zoos in Thurmont, Cumberland and Rising Sun say House Bill 1124 threatens their existence. They would be prohibited from replacing such animals if they have been cited in the past three years for certain Animal Welfare Act violations, or if they've had such an animal escape or hurt someone.

Zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums would be exempt.

The Frederick News-Post reported Thursday that the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo in Thurmont is seeking to also exempt zoos accredited by the smaller Zoological Association of America. Catoctin is accredited by that group. The other two zoos have neither trade group's accreditation.

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