Proactive or reactive? Kentucky starts process to create livestock commission

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FRANKFORT, Ky. — In an effort to stop animal rights activists from invading the Bluegrass State, the Kentucky Senate Ag Committee passed a bill Feb. 4 to create the Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission.

New bill

The bill that would create a commission to set rules for how animals are treated and cared for on farms.

The Senate Bill 105 is sponsored by Agriculture Committee Chairman David Givens.

The full Senate is expected to consider the bill the week of Feb. 8. The bill would create a 14-member Kentucky Livestock Standards Commission chaired by the state agriculture commissioner. The state veterinarian would be a nonvoting member.

Members

According to the proposed legislation, the 13 other members would have to be named Aug. 1 and would include:

• The commissioner, who will serve as chair;

• The dean of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture or the dean’s designee;

• The chair of the Animal Control advisory board or chair’s designee.

• Director of the University of Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center or the director of the Murray State University Breathitt Veterinary Center. Each director would serve one-year terms on a rotating basis.

• Four members to be appointed by governor; one person from Kentucky Farm Bureau, who will serve as vice chair, one person selected by Kentucky County Judge/Executive Association, one from the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association and one citizen at large with an interest in food safety.

• Five members appointed by governor with assistance by the agriculture department. One person will be from each commodity organization for each species including cattle, pigs, goats, sheep, equines and poultry species.

Job not easy

In addition, when the commission establishes the livestock care standards, the commission will have to consider the animal’s well being and best management practices in agriculture; herd health and providing safe and affordable food for consumers.

The proposed legislation will also stop any political subdivision such as a city, town or county from adopting livestock regulations more stringent than the standards of the board.

The bill would also leave the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority to inspect, investigate and supervise horses and other participants in horses racing.

About the Author

Kristy Foster Seachrist lives in Columbiana County raising sheep and horses. She earned her degree from Youngstown State University and has worked in both print and broadcast journalism. You can follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fosterk96. More Stories by Kristy Foster Seachrist

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