Austin -- Texas may soon allow non-veterinarians to perform certain equine dental procedures under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.
— Texas may soon allow non-veterinarians to perform certain equine dental procedures under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.
The Texas Legislature passed House Bill 414 May 30, which professionalizes the practice of equine dentistry. It is expected to be approved by Texas Governor Rick Perry. If signed into law, the new rules would take effect on Sept. 1.
The legislation outlines training and education requirements for non-veterinarians to legally perform certain equine dentistry procedures under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.
Non-veterinarians certified to perform equine dentistry will earn the title of equine dental provider, according to the legislation.
“Previously, there was almost no recourse for a consumer whose horse had been damaged by a non-veterinarian tooth floater, but HB 414 provides protection for horse owners and their animals,” the Texas Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) reports. For example, equine dental practitioners will be accountable to the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. “Prior to the legislation, unlicensed individuals lacked minimum practice standards and were not required to meet any basic level of professionalism or accountability,” TVMA officials say. “Additionally, individuals will not be allowed to use the unearned medical title of ‘equine dentist.’”
Texas veterinary leaders and equine teeth floaters have been locked in debate over the ability for laypersons to perform equine dentistry. The battle even resulted in a lawsuit against the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, which prevented the regulatory body from going after equine teeth floaters for what the board called the “unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine.”
Dewey Helmcamp, executive director of the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, told
in March that legislation was in the works to reach a compromise and resolve the issue.