Oklahoma Equine Dentist Bill Becomes Law

A bill that allows individuals who are not licensed veterinarians to float horses' teeth if they meet state certification requirements became law in Oklahoma April 16, when Gov. Brad Henry signed HB 3202.

The measure also amends the Oklahoma Veterinary Practice Act to allow horse owners to buy, and lay dentists to transport from veterinarians, veterinary prescription sedatives sometimes used in teeth-floating procedures. The new law exempts farriery and other animal husbandry practices, such as breeding, from the Veterinary Practice Act.

The new law 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 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."

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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