.04 Confidentiality.

A. Except as provided in this regulation, the following records are confidential and may not be released:

(1) Records and reports, including the information provided in the records and reports, filed by a veterinarian under this chapter; and

(2) The veterinarianís identity.

B. The unauthorized disclosure of any record or report including any information provided in the record or report or the disclosure of the identity of the veterinarian who filed the report, is a criminal offense subject to the penalty provided in Agriculture Article, Title 12, Annotated Code of Maryland.

C. Procedures to Protect Confidentiality. Each law enforcement agency subject to this chapter shall adopt confidential procedures that protect the identity of the veterinarian who makes a cruelty report and the report itself, including any information from the report, as follows.

(1) All employees who handle cruelty reports required by this chapter shall be trained to keep the above information confidential and instructed not to release it to any person.

(2) Each employee shall be trained on the requirements of this chapter and informed of the consequences of releasing any confidential information.

(3) All confidential information shall be kept in a secure location.

(4) All employees shall be trained in the requirements of the Public Information Act and how to protect confidential information.

D. Release of Confidential Information.

(1) The substance of any cruelty report filed by a veterinarian under this chapter, and any records associated with the report may only be released:

(a) By a court order;

(b) If required by another law; or

(c) With the consent of the veterinarian who filed the report.

(2) A law enforcement agency shall release any records and reports required by this chapter to the Board upon request.