Texas Equine Dentistry

Mitz v. Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners 

IJ Client Carl Mitz

Independent and self-reliant Texans have been taking care of their horses for a long time without unnecessary government meddling. But bureaucrats in Austin have concocted a monopolistic licensing scheme to protect a cartel of veterinarians that puts Texas entrepreneurs out of work while forcing horse owners to pay more for lower-quality care.

The Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is demanding that Texas equine dental practitioners spend up to $100,000 and four years at veterinary school, where they learn next to nothing about caring for horses' teeth, or else abandon their profession. This blatantly anti-competitive regulation serves the sole purpose of maximizing the incomes of largely untrained, unqualified, ill-equipped veterinarians at the expense of horse owners and Texas entrepreneurs.  Read how the Vet Board has declared bureaucratic war on this small but vital group of entrepreneurs.

Horses' teeth grow constantly and thus occasionally need to be filed or "floated"-an important but painless procedure. Horse tooth care requires skill, experience and horsemanship, none of which are the exclusive purview of state-licensed veterinarians.

That is why on August 28, 2007, the Institute for Justice filed suit in Travis County District Court in Austin. On behalf of equine dental practitioners and Texas horse owners, IJ is challenging the licensing scheme as a violation of Texas law and the Texas Constitution.

On November 9, 2010, Travis County Judge Orlinda Naranjo struck down the Texas vet board's lawless campaign against non-veterinarian practitioners, enabling our clients (and hundreds of other hard-working Texans) to continue floating horses' teeth without bureaucratic interference.


Essential Background


Background on this case

Client Photo

Latest Release: Victory for Texas Entrepreneurs and Horse Owners (November 10, 2010)

Video: H.B. 3637 Would Keep Horse Teeth Floating Legal in Texas & Protect Horse Owners (March 28, 2011)

Launch Release: Texas Entrepreneurs and Horse Owners File Lawsuit Challenging Elitist Veterinary Cartel Video: Listen to real horse teeth practitioners at IJ's press conference in Austin, Texas (August 20, 2010)
 Legal Briefs and Decisions
Opinion: Court of Appeals reverses case abatement

Case Timeline

Filed Lawsuit:


August 28, 2007

Court Filed:


Travis County District Court in Austin




Additional Releases

Maps, Charts and Facts

Release: Horse Owners Gather in Austin to Protest Vet Board’s Anti-Competitive Teeth-Floating Rule (August 20, 2010)

none available

Release: Horse Teeth Floaters’ Constitutional Lawsuit Will Proceed (November 18, 2008)



Op-eds, News Articles and Links

Article: Texas Horse Teeth Floaters File Regulations Down to SizeLiberty & Law (February 2011)

Video: Clark Neily discusses IJ's Texas Horse Teeth Victory; (November 10, 2010)

Article: Texas Vet Board Protects Cartel, Not Pubic; Liberty & Law (October 2010)

Video: Horse Tooth Floaters Fight for the Right to Earn An Honest Living - News 8 Austin (August 20, 2010); YNN Austin (August 20, 2010)

Article: IJ Continues to Knock Horse Sense Into Texas Bureaucrats; Liberty & Law (August 2010)

Op-Ed: Going Rogue: The Texas Vet Board’s war on horse owners and entrepreneurs in the Lone Star State; The Daily Caller (August 31, 2010)

Article: Is it horse sense that only vets file teeth? Austin American-Statesman (June 20, 2010)

Video: Learn about horse teeth floating; (April 20, 2010)

Video: CBS-TV Oklahoma: Horse Teeth Floaters Rally for Right to Earn a Living; KWTV-CBS (February 17, 2010)

Article: Texas Horse Dentists Feel the Bite Of State Regulatory Oversight; Wall Street Journal (December 29, 2009)

Article: IJ Saddles Up In Horse Teeth Fight; Liberty & Law (June 2008)

Article: A Texas-Sized Battle For Economic Liberty; Liberty & Law (October 2007)

Article: Of horses' teeth and liberty; Economist.com (October 25, 2007)

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