Univ. of Kentucky Loses PETA Lawsuit, Must Release Animal Records

A judge ruled that open records laws apply to the university’s handling of animals.

The University of Kentucky was ordered to release records from its animal research work to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA, on March 2.

The ruling settles a dispute over PETA’s 2014 open records request into the university’s policies when using animals in teaching exercises, reports Kentucky.com.

UK had argued that the requested policies were not subject to open records law, but Judge Pamela Goodwine determined that because the animal policies were approved by a university committee they were public records. UK may redact the contact information of faculty and staff to prevent them from being targeted by animal rights activists.

Goodwine’s ruling is in line with Kentucky Attorney General Andy Bashear, who ruled in favor of PETA after the animal rights group appealed the UK’s refusal to release the records in Fayette Circuit Court.

“The court’s decision means that the University of Kentucky can no longer hide its use, and possible killing, of animals,” PETA Senior Vice President Kathy Guillermo said after the ruling. “PETA will review these documents to push for the introduction of modern educational tools that are better for students and kinder to animals.”

A spokesman for the university said he would not release a statement until officials reviewed the decision further.

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