New Equine Dentist Bill before Oklahoma House

A bill that would protect non-veterinarian equine dentists in Oklahoma from criminal prosecution advanced yesterday when that state's House of Representatives' Agriculture and Rural Development Committee approved the measure.

Sponsored by Rep. Don Armes, HB 3202 amends the Oklahoma Veterinary Practice Act to allow individuals who are not licensed veterinarians to float horses' teeth. The bill also allows horse owners and their employees to buy and administer veterinary prescription sedatives used for floating procedures.

If passed, the measure will be the third change to Oklahoma's veterinary practice act in as many years.

A 2008 amendment established felony charges for anyone practicing equine dentistry without a veterinary license. Lawmakers stripped the felony charges from the act in 2009 after professional rodeo rider Bobby Griswold became the first person charged with the felony. Griswold is not a veterinarian, but graduated from an equine dental school.

The felony charges were dismissed after Griswold pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges, said attorney Jeff Todd. He was ordered to pay a fine, court costs, and to serve eight months probation.

HB 3202 now moves on to the full Oklahoma House for approval.

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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