From the Office of State Senator Kel Seliger, District 31

March 2, 2011
Contact: Gina Dowdy
(806) 374-8994

Senator Seliger Files Bill to Professionalize the Practice of Equine Dentistry

AUSTIN — State Senator Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) filed Senate Bill 1032 that defines and establishes training and certification for practicing equine dentistry. "I believe this legislation provides a necessary regulatory framework to raise the standard of veterinary medical care in the area of equine dentistry," said Seliger.

Veterinarians currently provide equine dental services and have the training to do so. Unfortunately, there are a number of veterinary technicians performing equine dentistry procedures without formal training. Without this training, persons practicing equine dentistry may very likely, and unnecessarily, cause discomfort or further dental problems to horses. Senate Bill 1032 ensures that equine dentistry is performed only by a veterinarian or a certified equine dental technician who is under the supervision of a veterinarian, and clarifies that only veterinarians may administer sedatives, tranquilizers, analgesics, prescription medications, or any other drug. "This bill ensures that 'equine dental technicians' possess a basic level of education, training and supervision so that consumers and their horses are adequately protected," said Elizabeth Choate, TVMA's director of government relations. "We believe that this bill will provide effective protection for both the consumer and the animal."

The licensure and certification process established under SB 1032 will be overseen by the Texas Board of Veterinarian Medical Examiners (Board). This process, as outlined in the bill, provides for a Board examination, an application with a requisite background check, and requires that the applicant have recommendations from two veterinarians. Additionally, the bill requires annual license renewal, continuing education, and provides a disciplinary process for licensee violations.

"Senate Bill 1032 should make an important contribution to animal health and safety," Seliger stated.