Paulick Report | July 14, 2019

Lori Smith, a certified equine sports massage therapist in New York, has been ordered to close her business or face potential criminal and civil penalties. The cease and desist order was filed against Five Feathers Equine Massage citing that Smith is not a licensed veterinarian.

The Government Justice Center (GJC) is non-partisan legal center that was established to protect New Yorkers from improper government action. The center has filed a complaint against New York State. In the statement GJC submitted, they note that equine massage is non-invasive and that it improves muscle tone, flexibility and circulation. The Center says equine masseuses don’t diagnose or treat animals in any medical capacity.

Massage classes are not part of a veterinarian’s training, though the state is claiming that Smith is practicing medicine. The GJC says that New York State’s definition of veterinary medicine is overly broad and could also apply to anyone caring for a horse.

The GJC believes that the state is placing an unnecessary burden on Smith, who is trying to earn a living. They also believe that this action over regulates the routine care of pets.

Earlier this year, New York’s State Department of Education, which regulates licensing requirements for a number of professions, asserted that pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy also crossed the line of what was considered the practice of veterinary medicine. Subsequent red tape betweenthe New York State Gaming Commission and New York Racing Association has made it impossible for many therapists to work on backstretches in the state.

© 2019 Paulick Report