senate Bill S2742B
(R, C, IP) 57th Senate District
- In Committee
- On Floor Calendar
- Passed Senate
- Passed Assembly
- Delivered to Governor
- Signed/Vetoed by Governor
Includes in the definition of veterinary medicine, the treatment of dental conditions; exempts persons who can treat floating teeth of horses from licensing requirements.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the
practice of veterinary medicine
PURPOSE: This bill is designed to both reduce the potential for
animal cruelty by prohibiting untrained persons from performing dental
surgery on animals and to bring the NY Veterinary Practice Act into
compliance with most of our neighboring states and those states with
large racing and equine populations by including animal dentistry
within the scope of practice of veterinary medicine. The floating of
teeth is specifically excluded from the scope of practice of
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 6701 of the education law is amended to include the treatment
of dental conditions other than the floating of equine teeth as within
the definition of the practice of veterinary medicine.
JUSTIFICATION: When the New York veterinary practice act was first
enacted, there was general agreement that the practice of veterinary
medicine included all of the veterinary specialties and for many years
the practice operated under that assumption.
Recently, the State Racing and Wagering Board attempted to exclude
unlicensed "veterinary dentists" from racetracks in the state. The
State Education Department's Office of the Professions joined in the
effort to prohibit this unlicensed practice. The decision in State
Supreme Court in Chris Brown v. NYS Racing and Wagering Bd. was
unfavorable and the state appealed the matter. The Appellate Division
upheld the lower Court's decision on the grounds that the New York
Practice Act, unlike many others, did not include specific reference
to dentistry in its definition of veterinary medicine.
The court noted that the New York statute marks a "departure from
parallel statutes of sister states in our region. We are guided by the
maxim expression unius est exclusion alterius, that the failure of the
Legislature to include a matter within a particular statute is an
indication that its exclusion was intended." While the State Education
Department urged the Court to accept its view that dentistry was
within the scope of practice of veterinary medicine, the Court noted
that this was a legislative matter for consideration and modification
if it was to occur.
It is important to note that most of the states in this region
including: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut,
Maryland and Rhode Island, along with other states with significant
equine industries, including: Kentucky, Oklahoma, California, Texas,
Montana, Minnesota, Washington and Ohio include dentistry within the
scope of veterinary practice.
Currently, there is the potential for pain, discomfort, and in some
cases cruelty, to animals treated by minimally trained or even
untrained "lay animal dentists" along with evidence of the illegal
dispensing of controlled substance pain killers by them. This
legislation will free horses from this threat while also recognizing
the longstanding services provided by those who have manually floated
equine teeth for many years.
This legislation would in no way hinder those dentists who float
equine teeth, who may continue their practice of floating teeth free
The New York Practice Act has not been significantly modified in many
years, during which many of these states' statutes were enacted or
amended. It is therefore appropriate that New York join with similar
states in the treatment of animal dentistry by making clear that
animal dentistry is within the scope of practice of veterinary
medicine. This is especially fitting given the efforts of the Racing
and Wagering Board and State Education Department to seek continuity
in racing standards through regional and national compacts.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011, 2012: S.4341/A.6480 Referred to
Higher Education This bill is similar in intent to S.6461/A.9562 of
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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