Friday, October 28, 2011

Animal-care panel cancels after Humane Society asserts violation of open-meetings law

A new panel given the task of drafting standards for care of farm animals canceled its scheduled meeting yesterday, apparently because the Humane Society of the United States alleged Wednesday that the Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission was violating the Kentucky Open Meetings Act.

The cancellation was announced by the state Department of Agriculture, which later "said the meeting was canceled at the request of Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer," Janet Patton reports for the Lexington Herald-Leader. The statement said, "Although he believes that the commission has followed the Open Meetings Act, he wants to make certain that everyone concerned with the issues the commission is working on has ample opportunity to make their opinions heard. Therefore, he believes that the public interest is best served by postponing today's meeting for several days to give all parties concerned enough time to plan for the session."

"The Humane Society alleged that the board has been acting in secret to prevent public involvement and "asked that the commission take no further action on recommendations made by species-specific groups or other advisory panels until the panels hold open meetings to consider all matters previously discussed in private, Patton writes. "Agriculture Department spokesman Bill Clary said Wednesday that the commission thinks it has complied with the state's Open Meetings Act." (Read more)

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