Kentucky to Allow Vets to Report Animal Abuse

In April, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed into law SB 21, now allowing veterinarians to report incidents of animal abuse and mistreatment, including those involving farm animals covered under the state’s on-farm livestock and poultry care standards. 

Prior to enactment of SB 21, veterinarians were barred from reporting animal abuse and mistreatment under the guise of confidentiality—even though veterinarians may be the only individuals, other than animal owners, who come in contact with the animals to assess their well-being and ensure they are receiving proper care and treatment. Additionally, a recent survey conducted by AWI revealed that in the six years since the Kentucky Board of Agriculture established farm animal care standards, the state has not investigated any reports of violations, likely because no reports were received. With the enactment of SB 21, veterinarians now have the opportunity to help ensure the care standards are enforced by reporting incidents of farm animal mistreatment.