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Texas board wins hearing against lay dentists

Article

Austin, Texas - A consortium of lay equine dentists and their clients lost the first round of legal battles with the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (TBVME).

AUSTIN, TEXAS — A consortium of lay equine dentists and their clients lost the first round of legal battles with the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (TBVME).

Ruling from the bench on Oct. 15, retired Travis County district court Judge Paul Davis refused to issue a temporary injunction to stop regulators from taking action. The lay dentists are accused of practicing veterinary medicine without a license.

The plaintiffs, represented by public-interest firm Institute for Justice, are challenging the constitutionality of the examining board's crackdown on equine teeth floating and other forms of lay dental practice. In a 15-page lawsuit filed in August, they accuse the regulatory board of monopolistic behavior designed to put them out of business.

Institute for Justice attorney Lee McGrath refused to comment on the decision. "I'm planning to meet with colleagues and clients to determine our next step," he says. The plaintiffs can appeal the judge's decision to reject the injunction or set a hearing date to ascertain their lawsuit's merits, explains Dewey Helmcamp III, the examining board's executive director.

"The plaintiffs are now working on horses' teeth, and they will be allowed to continue doing that until the full administrative due process runs its course," he says.

"We haven't stopped anybody yet. We've just begun the process."

Dewey Helmcamp III

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