House Passes Arkansas Horse Care Bill

An Arkansas bill that would allow equine dentists who are not veterinarians to float horses' teeth without facing prosecution from that state's Veterinary Medical Examining Board advanced on March 18 when it was passed by the Arkansas House of Representatives.

The bill, HB 1763, would prohibit the Arkansas Veterinarian Medical Examining Board from investigating or prosecuting nonveterinarians who float horses' teeth or perform equine massage until July 1, 2013. The two-year moratorium is intended to allow state lawmakers to study veterinary medical issues for later consideration.

The bill also exempts professional farriers, trainers, and individuals who collect semen and perform nonsurgical artificial insemination from investigation from the Arkansas Veterinary Medical Practice Act.

David Blount, DVM, Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association’s spokesman on the issue, was unavailable to comment on the legislation.

However, Arkansas Horse Council President Betty Miller Jones said most horse owners across the state would benefit from the passage of HB 1763.

"First, in this economy we need all the (teeth floaters and farriers) who have been working on our horses to keep working," Jones said. "Secondly, there are less than 30 veterinarians in the state who care for large animals, or who have mixed practices, and there are 200,000 horses here."

HB 1763 now moves to the Arkansas state Senate for consideration.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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