Former Arkansas Lawmaker And Farrier Offers Advice To Change The Law

Four years ago, farrier and state legislator Jim House successfully changed the Arkansas state veterinary practice act to exempt horseshoeing from the definition of practicing veterinary medicine.

Arkansas is one of nine states that specifically exempt farriery or horseshoeing.  The others are Alaska, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Vermont. If you decide that you wish to challenge the veterinary practice act (VPA) in your state, House has some advice for you.

Team up. One person doesn’t get legislation changed. Include as many groups that will support your effort as possible.

“You need to get anyone who is in the horse business involved,” House advises. “Get yourself a lobbying group. As a legislator, I tell people all the time that if you want to get a hiking trail across your national forest approved, you must include the hikers, horseback trail riders and drivers of 4-wheelers.”

House suggests being as inclusive as possible — the American Horse Council, the Farm Bureau, racetracks, trail riding groups and massage therapists.

“Don’t just go in there as, ‘This is my business and I want the right,’” he says.
“Go in there as, ‘These are the people who use my services and they want it.’”

One group that House would like to include is teeth floaters. Yet, that will prove to be a poison pill.

“Teeth floating is dynamite,” he says. “It blows up everything. The veterinarians don’t want to give that up. They’re going to fight hard not to. It’s a bigger challenge…

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Cota

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 25 years. A native of Maine, he is the Managing Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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