Of Interest

Pennsylvania Horse Owners - Alert!

By Natalie Unger


Do you use a horse dentist, massage therapist, or chiropractor for your horses? Do you know that in the strictest interpretation of the recently amended Veterinary Medicine Practice Act in Pennsylvania that only your veterinarian can provide these services for you?


December 9, 2002 House Bill 1742 was passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature and went into effect on February 6, 2003. In this bill THE PRACTICE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE is defined as "includes, but is not limited to, the practice by any person who (i) diagnoses, treats, corrects, changes, relieves or prevents animal disease, deformity, injury, or other physical, mental, or dental conditions by any method or mode, including the prescription or administration of any drug, medicine, biologic, apparatus, application, anesthetic or other therapeutic or diagnostic substance or technique…" (You can view the entire Veterinary Medicine Practice Act at the Pennsylvania State Board of Veterinary Medicine's website, www.dos.state.pa.us/vet .)


This law effectively leaves the horse owner with no right to choose the people who will provide these services for their animals.


Do you think that your veterinarian has the time to provide all of these services?


Do you think that your veterinarian has the training to provide all of these services?


Do you want your veterinarian to provide all of these services?


If strictly enforced this law means you will have no choice but to have your veterinarian provide all of these services.


If you are a member of a horseman's organization in Pennsylvania or an individual horse owner talk to your friends and organization members, and make them aware of this situation.


The only way you can assert your rights as a horse owner is to organize your friends and membership, and tell your local Pennsylvania Legislators that the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act has taken away your right to make choices in the care of your animals.


In the end it is your animals that will suffer because most veterinary practices will not have the time or training to provide these services in a quality manner.




Editor's notes:

Holistic veterinarians are usually well-trained and well-practiced in various holistic modalities. Because these modalities typically take more time and attention, scheduling an appointment for them can be challenging. These exceptional veterinarians are few and far between, and often overextended. There is a definite demand for holistic services for horses, and there is a definite need for practitioners, in addition to the holistic veterinarians, of the various holistic services. Whether or not these modalities fall into the category of 'accepted veterinary medicine and practice' is another matter that may need to be addressed - the holistic veterinarian is at risk in some states for practicing holistic modalities. Equine dentistry is a field where many of the practicing equine dentists are not veterinarians, yet have graduated from well-run dentistry schools that offer broader-based, more intensive, much more lengthy and in-depth training and experience than a veterinarian would receive from typical veterinary training (a matter of a few hours).


Check your state law, and visit the following websites, formed by people in other states whose laws have gotten in the way of owners providing quality and conscientious care for their animals.


Animal Owners Rights

Do you know if your state prohibits you from using a massage therapist, dentist, natural practitioner, herbalist, etc for your animals? Find out here...


Arizona Alliance for Animal Owners Rights, Inc. (AZAAOR, Inc.) - www.azaaor.org.

Florida Alliance for Animal Owners Rights, Inc. (FAAOR, Inc.) - www.faaor.org

Illinois Alliance for Animal Owners Rights, Inc. (IAAOR) - www.iaaor.org

Minnesota Alliance for Animal Owners Rights - contact Kelly Murphy, kemurphy00@yahoo.com

New Jersey Owners Rights - www.saddlebrookridge.com/LEGAL.htm

New York Alliance for Animal Owners Rights (NYAAOR) - www.nyaaor.org.

Oklahoma Alliance for Animal Owners Rights (OKAAOR) - Contact Acting Coordinator, Cindy Kraft at OKAAOR@aol.com

Pennsylvania Alliance for Animal Owners Rights (PAAOR) - now forming http://home.comcast.net/%7Ewarhorse1/PAAOR.html

The Texas Association for Complementary Animal Therapists (TACAT) - www.tacat.org

Wisconsin Alliance for Animal Owners Rights (WAAOR) - Contact Acting President Polly Remick at wiaaor@earthlink.net


Don't see your state listed? Email info@iaaor.org. There may be an AAOR for you.