Oklahoma Equine Dentistry Bill Passes Senate

A measure that allows individuals who are not licensed veterinarians to float horses' teeth if they meet state certification requirements passed the Oklahoma Senate today (March 31).

HB 3202 also amends the Oklahoma Veterinary Practice Act to allow horse owners and their employees to buy and administer veterinary prescription sedatives sometimes used in teeth floating procedures. The Oklahoma House of Representatives approved the measure earlier this month.

Lawmakers passed the bill just days after a group of veterinarians sponsored a newspaper advertisement that claimed passage would facilitate illegal drug sales in the state.

The bill’s passage represents the third change to Oklahoma's veterinary practice act since 2008, when an 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 was charged with the felony. Griswold, who is not a veterinarian , but who is an equine dental school graduate, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges. He was sentenced to serve eight months probation.

"Now owners get to make the choice on who works on their horses," Griswold said. "Anytime there is competition, the quality of the work goes up."

The measure now returns to the House for final amendment approval before moving on for Gov. Brad Henry's signature.

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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