Skip Maine state header navigation
Skip First Level Navigation | Skip All Navigation
|Home | Contact Us||
Site Map |
Home > FAQs
Division of Animal and Plant Health
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do I need to do to bring livestock or poultry into Maine?
You need to call the Division of Animal Health and Industry at 287-3701 to obtain a prior permit number and to get the latest requirements for the species you wish to bring into the State.
Who do I contact if I want to report a case of animal abuse in Maine?
Please call our Animal Welfare Program at 287-3846.
Can I report complaints of animal abuse anonymously?
Who do I call if I have an agricultural nuisance complaint involving odor, flies, manure spills, etc. which may involve a farming operation?
Please call our Agricultural Compliance Program at 287-1132.
Who do I call if I have a question concerning any health issue pertaining to livestock and poultry in Maine or to report a reportable disease?
Please call our Division of Animal Health and Industry at 287-3701.
The primary purpose of the Animal Welfare Program is to ensure that animals in Maine are humanely and properly treated. The Commissioner of Agriculture has developed, implemented and administered a comprehensive program to uphold the animal welfare laws through communication, education and enforcement.
How do I report an animal cruelty or neglect complaint?
Call your local law enforcement or animal control officer first. They may be able to respond much quicker than a humane agent can.
The Animal Welfare Program’s business hours are 7:30am – 4:30pm Monday through Friday and may be reached by the following manner:
Who do I call if the animal cruelty complaint is an emergency and it is not during business hours?
Call your local law enforcement or animal control officer first.
How is the Animal Welfare Program funded?
The majority of funding for the Animal Welfare Program comes from the licensing of dogs and various facilities such as animal shelters, boarding kennels, breeding kennels, pet shops, and research facilities, pet and livestock food registration, Tax check off, and the Animal Welfare License plates. AWP does not operate with money from the general fund.
How many employees does the Animal Welfare Program have?
There is the Director, Veterinarian, 5 District Humane Agents, and a Clerk Typist III
How many complaints of animal cruelty or neglect are investigated yearly?
AWP receives anywhere from 500 to 800 complaints every year. However in Maine’s other state agencies including municipal Animal Control Officers (ACOs), sheriff departments and the State Police also handle animal welfare complaints. Unfortunately the total number of animal welfare cases is higher than the number handled by the Animal Welfare Program. Many times the staff of the Animal Welfare Program cooperates with other agencies on specific cases.
What species of animal does the Animal Welfare Program receive the most complaints on?
Although we mostly deal with complaints involving domestic animals like dogs, cats, and horses, Agents have also responded to cases involving farm animals, Ostrich’s, Emus, Bison, even ferrets and hamsters.
Other than investigation of animal cruelty, abuse or neglect what other responsibilities does the Animal Welfare Program have?
Other responsibilities of the AWP are to…
Are copies of the investigative reports and files available to the public?
The disposition of closed cases, unless sealed by the courts, is available to the public. However, M.R.S.A. Title 16 §614 forbids the release of names or any other identifying information on persons providing information pertaining to criminal or civil cruelty to animals to the Department of Agriculture. This information is confidential and may not be disseminated. Information cannot be released on active or continuing investigations.
What is the difference between a State Humane Agent and an Animal Control Officer?
A State Humane Agent is employed by the State of Maine. As a state employee a State Humane Agent’s primary responsibility is to enforce the animal cruelty statues in Title 7 and Title 17. Animal Control Officers are employed by a municipality and are not state employees. The ACO’s primary responsibility is to enforce the municipal animal control duties in Title 7 and Title 17.
How many Animal Control Officers are there?
Each of the 496 municipalities in the state is required to employ an animal control officer. However many ACO’s are employed by more than one town which results in over 300 animal control officers throughout the state.
What jurisdiction does the Animal Welfare Program have over animal control officers?
The Animal Welfare Program is responsible to provide basic training and certification to animal control officers. The Animal Welfare Program does not participate in the hiring of or personnel issues concerning ACO’s. The employing town is responsible for the performance of the animal control officer.
Does the Animal Welfare Program have the authority to hire, terminate, or discipline a local animal control officer?
No. As employees of a town, only the town may hire, terminate or discipline an animal control officer.
If a member of the public wishes to file a complaint against an Animal Control Officer or a State Humane Agent how is that done?
Any complaint concerning an animal control officer should be put in writing and directed to the staff of the town that employs them. Most animal control officers report either to the Town Clerk or the police department but this varies from town to town. Any complaint concerning a State Humane Agent should be directed to the Department of Agriculture at (207) 287-3871.
Why should I license my dog?
Dog licensing has been an important part of combating the spread of rabies in the United States. The fee that you pay goes toward helping fund your animal control program and the animal welfare program. The tags your dog wears also acts as an ID for your dog if they ever gets lost and they can be returned home.
When should I license my dog?
After October 15th you can buy a dog license from your town for the next year. The deadline for getting a license is January 1st every year. Everyone is given till January 31st to purchase the license before a late fee is incurred.
At this time there are no cat licenses required by state law, but they are required to have a current rabies vaccination. Even if they are an inside only cat. All dogs and cats are required to have current rabies shots that a licensed veterinarian.
Do I need a license to sell plants?
You need a nursery license if you are selling rooted plants. The purpose of the license is to ensure that healthy, pest free plants are being sold to Maine customers. The license is renewed annually and the fee is either $25 or $5 depending on volume of sales. For more information visit http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/horticulture/licensing.htm
Do I need a license to keep bees?
Yes you need a license even if you have one hive. The purpose of the license is to ensure that the hives contain healthy bees for honey production and pollinating crops. The license is renewed annually and the license fee varies depending on the number of hives being licensed. For more information visit http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/pi/apiary/
How do I get this unusual insect identified?
Check the Got Pests website to narrow down your choices. If you still don't know, contact us at Plant Health; 287-3891.
Do I need a license to cut down trees?
You need an arborist license if you are working near buildings or in urban areas and you are being paid. You should have a utility license if you are working around power lines. A landscape arborist license is required for any other type of arborist work. For more information go to www.maine.gov/agriculture/pi/arborist/
How do I qualify for the organic cost share program?
Need to contact and qualify through an organic certifying agent in the state, such as MOFGA certification services. They will then forward the information along to the Maine Department of Agriculture.
How do I deal with Japanese beetles?
Try not to plant things they like. Put Japanese beetle traps away from any plants you are trying to protect. Look for signs of parasites, a white spot on the back of the beetle. Check out the information online for this and other pests at http://www.maine.gov/agriculture/pesticides/gotpests/
Is this pesticide product registered?
Contact Mary Tomlinson for Federal and/or in Maine registrations
What type of license do I need, how many do I need, where do I go to find out about credits?
Contact Gary Fish
When where and how can I get my water tested for pesticides?
What are the risks to myself, my family my pets, fish in the nearby stream etc?
Did this exterminator / Applicator mess up on the job?
|Copyright © 2005 All rights reserved.|