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Animal Welfare Advisory Council
The Animal Welfare Advisory Council meets on the 3rd Thursday of every other month. Meetings are held at the Department of Agriculture, Deering Building, Room 319. The meetings are held from 9am – 12 Noon.
Meeting, cancellations or date changes will appear in the Public Meetings Calendar at www.maine.gov/agriculture.
Questions about the Animal Welfare Advisory Council (AWAC):
The Animal Welfare Advisory Council was created to advise the Commissioner of Agriculture on matters that pertain to the Animal Welfare Program per M.R.S.A. Title 7 § 3906-C.
The council performs the following duties:
AWAC has no supervisory jurisdiction over departmental personnel. All personnel matters are the responsibility of the Commissioner and his staff.
The Governor appoints all AWAC members.
There are 14 members representing the following:
Except for initial appointees and the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee, each member serves for a term of 3 years or until the member’s successor has qualified. Except for the commissioner or the commissioner’s designee, a member may not serve more than 2 consecutive terms.
In case of a vacancy for any reason, the Governor shall appoint a member representing the same interest to fill the unexpired term.
AWAC shall hold regular public meetings every other month but may waive by majority vote a succeeding meeting.
Yes, the chair shall call special meetings of the council whenever requested in writing by 2 or more members.
The council shall elect one of its members as chair. The chair serves for a 2-year period and may not serve as chair for consecutive 2-year periods.
By statute members of the council are entitled to travel and meal expenses only.
AWAC members do not become state employees upon appointment by the Governor.
If a member resigns, the Governor is asked to appoint another person to represent the same interest. If a person fails to attend meetings the Chair may request their resignation.
All AWAC meetings, unless AWAC is in executive session, are open to the members of the public.
Any materials given to members of AWAC at a scheduled meeting are available to the public.
If AWAC recommends to the Commissioner of Agriculture that a certain law be passed or repealed, is the Commissioner required to accept and follow that recommendation?
While one of the duties of AWAC is to advise and make recommendations (see question #2) to the Commissioner, it is at the Commissioner’s discretion to accept and/or follow those recommendations.
No. Only the employing municipalities may hire, terminate or discipline an Animal Control Officer.
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