Beshear names animal-care board members

Gov. Steve Beshear has appointed members to two boards created by the state legislature this spring to set animal-care standards.

The Kentucky Livestock Care Standards Commission will advise the state Board of Agriculture on standards governing the care and well-being of on-farm livestock and poultry.

The Kentucky Farm Bureau and other livestock producer groups lobbied for creation of the panel as a way to forestall animal-protection measures passed in other states.

The legislation passed by the General Assembly prohibits local governments from passing regulations stricter than standards set by the state, but it does not supersede local zoning and planning regulations.

The 16-member commission includes three non-voting members: the state veterinarian and the legislative co-chairs of the interim joint committee on agriculture.

The state agriculture commissioner will chair the board; other members are the dean of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, the head of the Animal Control Advisory Board, the director of one of the two state livestock labs, and nine members appointed by the governor.

Terms of the appointments are staggered.

Beshear also appointed members to the newly formed Kentucky Equine Health and Welfare Council, which will advise the commission on horse-related issues.

The 15-member council is made up of the chairs of the House and Senate standing committees on agriculture, who are non-voting members; the commissioner of agriculture; the state veterinarian; a member of the UK College of Agriculture Equine Initiative; a member of the University of Louisville Equine Industry Program; a representative of three other state school equine programs; the head of one of the two state livestock labs, and seven people appointed by the governor.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader