Awareness of the so-called “exotic pet” trade has risen dramatically in recent years. But even before documentary series like Netflix’s Tiger King shed light on this ethically dubious marketplace, wild animals kept as pets have grabbed headlines. Unfortunately it has often been in connection with tragedies. The size, strength, and unpredictable temperament of these animals can mean severe injuries for exotic pet owners or, worse yet, innocents in the vicinity. Memorable incidents involving chimpanzees, tigers, and, in our own backyard of Maryland, a herd of zebras, gripped the attention of TV news viewers. Today we’ll be covering Maryland exotic pet laws. For more Maryland legal facts and definitions, you can consult our YouTube channel.
In order to discuss Maryland exotic pet laws we must first understand the definition of “strict liability.”
Strict liability is a legal term that refers to the responsibility of an individual or company for damages or losses that occur as a result of their actions, regardless of whether or not they were at fault. This type of liability is often seen in cases involving product liability, where the manufacturer or seller of a defective product can be held responsible for any injuries or damages that occur as a result of its use. In many cases, strict liability allows victims of negligence or recklessness to receive compensation that they might otherwise be unable to obtain.
In Maryland, strict liability is the law of the land in cases involving exotic animals. This means that if you are the owner of such an animal and the animal in question injured someone or damaged their property, you can be held liable for damages even if you are not at fault. You can behave as responsibly as one can, providing amble space, a healthy diet, and professional care for your animal, but this will not negate strict liability.
Personal Injury cases involving exotic animals are quite rare. The high cost of ownership and risks (both physical and legal) generally dissuade people from owning such animals. Furthermore, environmental advocacy and conservationist groups condemn ownership of exotic pets almost universally.
However, we here at Malloy Law are keenly aware that even the most unlikely of personal injury scenarios are still a possibility. The circumstances may be almost unbelievable but the pain and emotional distress can be all too real. Contact Malloy Law today to start seeking justice.