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When a provision of this chapter requires that a hearing be conducted, the hearing shall be conducted as follows:

A. At the time and place set for the hearing, a hearing officer shall consider the matter at issue. The hearing officer shall swear witnesses, hear testimony, and receive relevant written or documentary evidence. Additional procedural rules may be adopted by resolution of the board. The hearing officer shall tape record the hearing and shall preserve all photographs and other documentary evidence introduced at the time of the hearing until the time period for an appeal has expired, and then may destroy such evidence or return it to the parties from which it originated if they have requested that such be done. If the director designates a deputy to conduct the hearing, the deputy shall not have had any prior direct involvement in the matter being heard. The hearing officer may decide all issues for or against the applicant, license holder, or owner/guardian of the animal and may render such decisions even if such person fails to appear at the hearing.

B. Within 10 days after the hearing is closed, the hearing officer shall render a decision. The decision shall contain findings of fact and conclusions of law. The decision shall also set forth the right to appeal and the procedures for initiating and carrying out an appeal. A copy of the decision shall be mailed by certified mail to the applicant, license holder, or owner/guardian of the animal.