.22 Sale and Distribution of Reptiles.

A. Scope.

(1) Pursuant to the authority conferred upon the Secretary by Health-General Article, §18-219, Annotated Code of Maryland, the Secretary has determined that reptiles and reptile eggs are dangerous to human health and safety in that human contact with reptiles and reptile eggs may spread disease to humans.

(2) The Secretary prohibits the sale or public distribution of turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches and viable reptile eggs.

(3) The Secretary may permit the sale and public distribution of reptiles in accordance with specific requirements and conditions as stated in §B of this regulation.

(4) This regulation does not apply to a turtle:

(a) Used for agricultural purposes;

(b) Used for scientific purposes;

(c) Used for educational purposes as certified by a health officer;

(d) Used for public exhibitions; or

(e) That the Secretary determines is not a threat to human health and safety.

(5) The requirements of this regulation are in addition to any requirement imposed by Natural Resources Article, Title 10, Subtitle 9, Annotated Code of Maryland, and regulations adopted under it.

(6) The giving away of reptiles is subject to the crimes and punishments set forth in Criminal Law Article, §10-610, Annotated Code of Maryland.

B. Reptile Sales.

(1) A person may not sell in Maryland viable reptile eggs or live turtles with a carapace length of less than 4 inches, except as otherwise provided in §A(4) of this regulation.

(2) A person may sell turtles with a carapace length of 4 inches or more and other live reptiles in Maryland if:

(a) A caution notice with the text as indicated in §C of this regulation is:

(i) Posted by the person selling reptiles;

(ii) Posted within 3 feet of each display of reptiles; and

(iii) A minimum of 8 x 11 inches in size; and

(b) At the time of the sale of a reptile, the seller:

(i) Furnishes the buyer with a copy of the caution notice; or

(ii) Has the buyer sign a log or statement that the buyer has read the caution notice.

C. Caution Notice. A person who sells reptiles shall post a caution notice that:

(1) Is in 4 parts, each separated by a horizontal 4-point rule;

(2) In part 1 has the word "Caution" set in 100-point Times Roman Bold;

(3) In part 2 has the following paragraph set in 30-point Times Roman: "Reptiles and other pets may carry and transmit germs (including Salmonella) to humans. It is important to wash your hands thoroughly after handling reptiles and other pets or coming in contact with their water, food, housing material, or container. Do not allow pet water, food, or housing material to come in contact with your food or areas where food is prepared.";

(4) In part 3 has the following sentence set in 42-point Times Roman Bold: "Provide your reptiles and other pets with a clean home, a suitable diet, and other proper care."; and

(5) In part 4 has the following sentence set in 30-point Times Roman: "If you or any member of your family is prone to or has serious health problems or is pregnant or your family includes a child younger than 5 years old, you should consult your physician before purchase."

D. Penalties and Seizure of Contraband Reptiles.

(1) Pursuant to Health-General Article, §§18-219 and 18-222, Annotated Code of Maryland, a person who imports, transports, sells, transfers, breeds, raises, keeps, or possesses any live turtle with a carapace length of less than 4 inches, other reptiles, or reptile eggs in violation of §§A—C of this regulation is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to a fine not exceeding $500, or imprisonment not exceeding 1 year, or both.

(2) An authorized law enforcement officer may seize a turtle with a carapace length of less than 4 inches, viable turtle and other reptile eggs, and other reptiles, which are considered a nuisance and a contraband pursuant to Health-General Article, §18-222, Annotated Code of Maryland, and §A of this regulation.