Livestock panel mirrors Ky.'s status as animal abuser
For the fourth year in a row, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has named Kentucky the best state to live in if you are an animal abuser.
Kentucky has some of the weakest laws in the nation when it comes to protecting animals, which strikes me as odd when we consider Kentucky's reputation as being "the horse capital of the world."
As a native Kentuckian, farm owner and animal lover, I would love to see Kentucky ditch our bad reputation as animal abusers.
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Recently, the Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission met to discuss a draft that will set the standards for how Kentucky's farm animals will be treated under the law.
I am very concerned by some practices this proposed draft allows, such as tail docking and veal crates. If these extremely painful practices are allowed, what kind of standards are the people of Kentucky continuing to set? A standard that enforces, rather than protects animals from, cruelty? If this commission truly cares about the welfare of Kentucky's farm animals as it says it does, it will prohibit cruel practices such as these.
It is time for Kentucky to become a leader in compassionate standards of animal care and practice, and I believe, with the commission's help, we can begin to adopt a compassionate approach to animal care by following the lead of other states such as Ohio, which has recently begun to phase out tail docking and veal crates.
I'm concerned about Kentucky's Livestock Care Standards Commission's so-called "care" standards ("Draft of livestock standards falls short, Humane Society says," Oct. 19, Kentucky.com).
I support local family farmers who treat their animals well, but I do not support factory farming practices that turn animals into widgets — therefore somehow justifying the use of cruel practices like tail-docking of cattle and veal crates for young calves.
The American Veal Association is committed to phasing out the use of veal crates, and the American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that veal calves be able to turn around comfortably and to assume normal postures. The National Dairy FARM Program does not recommend tail docking, and the AVMA also opposes routine tail docking of cattle.
Keeping calves locked up in tiny crates where they can't turn around is inhumane and shouldn't be allowed. The same is the case with cutting off cows' tails without any painkiller.
Farm animals provide us with so much; the least we can do is protect them from such cruelty.
Listen to the public
Farm animals deserve to be treated humanely — this is something the public can agree on. Cutting off a cow's tail without painkillers and restraining a calf in a veal crate where he can't even turn around his whole life is far from humane.
Unfortunately, the Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission and Argiculture Commissioner Richie Farmer haven't asked for nor do they seem to want the public's opinion on farm-animal care.
Our tax dollars pay for this commission, it is a public body, and we deserve to have our voices heard. More important, the commission shouldn't ignore science and instead should listen to the American Veterinary Medical Association and phase out veal crates for calves and tail-docking for dairy cows.
Mary Margaret Carlton Sparks
What's being honored?
Every year on Veterans Day and the Fourth of July, many communities expend funds, time and effort to provide their citizens with a parade honoring the men and women who served in the U.S. military.
As a 100 percent service-connected military veteran from the Vietnam era, I find the parades troublesome.
The parades themselves are not what is troublesome but the failure of community leaders, members of Kentucky's congressional delegation and the complacent citizenry to demand that Congress cease and desist in ordering the president of the United States to commit acts of war.
Case in point are the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Neither country nor their people did any harm to the United States and our countrymen. The government lied.
Instead of honoring Americans dispatched, by non-Americans in Washington and the chief executives of U.S. corporations, to murder, maim and occupy foreign nations, Americans must rise up in 2012 and 2014 and replace our government at the polls.
Equally noteworthy, while our military is committing war crimes against humanity, military members are being killed, maimed and injured for life. Of course, I realize the religious community in Kentucky places their loyalty to a fabricated God ahead of the commonwealth and nation. However, one would think the well-being of their sons, daughters, relatives and fellow Americans would create some anger.
Have the parades, but tell the government to end illegal wars and return to the U.S. Constitution.
Billy Ray Wilson
Lax band coverage
I am appalled. The news following Oct. 22 omitted one of the great accomplishments of our Fayette County students — our marching bands.
At Bryan Station High School the competition for 16 high schools was stiff. Dunbar, Lafayette, Tates Creek and Henry Clay all finished in the final eight and moved on to the Oct. 29 finals at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.
The students in all four schools worked long hours to become outstanding music makers and become accomplished marchers. The results these four schools attained should have received superior notices in your newspaper.
(Incidentally, the Jacksonville State band performed after its team's ball game with the University of Kentucky. They sent 400 students and were the best band this writer has ever witnessed. They should have been recognized and pictures made of their outstanding performance.)
There were over 2,000 parents and guests who paid $10 to see the bands perform, and I am sure many are your customers. Maybe your omission is why your newspaper company's stock is only $1.50.
Walter C. Cox Jr.
Not worth keeping
I would like to make you aware of the unsatisfactory treatment given to Dunbar marching band. We were hoping to put copies of your articles and pictures in the graduating seniors' scrapbooks, "win or lose."
Look at the Oct. 29 and 30 articles about the band competitions, and consider if you represented Dunbar's 140 members fairly.
Would you like the picture in the Sunday edition of the 2011 competition's highest scorer — Dunbar — in your scrapbook?
The Dunbar band felt the paper was unfair in 2010, too.
If a troubled high school student carried a weapon to school or caused a fight, it would make the news several times. We are proud of all Lexington bands and think there could be more coverage. You could have an interesting story and make them feel important by interviewing a member from each band.
Do you know how they earn money for uniforms, trips, equipment, entrance fees and other expenses? How many hours required for practice? What do they like about performing, competition? Why do many cry when they win? Do they cry when they lose? Why?
I don't know all the deadlines and problems you have in producing a daily paper. As a retired schoolteacher, mother of band students and now grandmother of band students, my views are not without bias, but I believe the paper can do better in encouraging, illuminating and improving the images of our young people.