Vets mean serious business when it comes to protecting their industry from competition in Oklahoma. Similar to other states, OK vets are taking steps to prevent unlicensed professionals from honing in on their customer base. Equine dentists, also called “teeth floaters” are specially trained, but unlicensed professionals that care for the oral hygiene of horses.Veterinarians are seeking to make it a criminal offense for these floaters to practice without the supervision of a licensed vet. But equine dentists, enthusiasts and other professionals in the horse maintenance business (such as those who shoe or massage horses) are fighting back.
“We think your animals or horses are your property, and you have the right to choose who works on them,” Rep. Don Armes told them after they jammed into a committee room. “These are not people, these are horses. There’s a difference…Rural America is standing up and saying, ‘That’s enough,”
Veterinarians wrapped there pursuit of protectionist policy under the guise of protecting animal welfare. However, putting additional strains, financial or otherwise on equine care-givers will reduce the number of professionals in the business and raise the costs. The end result will be fewer professionals, higher prices, and more horses going without the care they need to stay healthy and comfortable. If vets truly cared about the well being of horses they would stay out of the way of this burgeoning market.