Missouri Court Rules in Nonveterinarian Dentist Case

A Missouri Circuit Court judge sided with veterinarians in that state last month when he ruled that non-veterinarian equine dentist Brooke Gray could not perform tooth-floating services for pay.

Teeth floating is the filing or cutting of long points on a horse's teeth. Missouri state law forbids non-veterinarians from performing the procedure. State law also forbids non-veterinarians from accepting payment for providing basic animal husbandry services.

In 2010 the Missouri Veterinary Medical Board filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Clinton County, Mo., veterinarian asking the court to prevent Gray from floating horse's teeth on a fee-for-service basis on grounds that Gray was not a licensed veterinarian.

The Freedom Center of Missouri represented Gray in the case. Gray's attorney and Freedom Center Director of Litigation Dave Roland argued that the U.S. and Missouri Constitutions protect citizens' rights to earn a living providing basic animal husbandry services.

On Dec. 21 Clinton County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Chapman granted the injunction prohibiting Gray from performing for compensation equine tooth floating or any other act considered veterinary dentistry under state law.

Roland said he will appeal the court's decision.

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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