COURT ARGUMENT TOMORROW:
Arizona Animal Massage Entrepreneurs Head to Court in Challenge to
Anti-Competitive and Unconstitutional Occupational Licensing Law
- Arizona law requires animal massage practitioners to obtain a veterinary license in order to massage animals for compensation—but veterinary schools don’t teach massage.
- Practitioners who don’t comply face up to six months in jail and a $3,500 fine per violation.
- The law is part of a nationwide growth in occupational licensing. In the 1950s, only one in 20 workers needed a government license to do their job—today that figure is almost one in three.
—High definition (1920×1080) b-roll of horse massage
is available for news station use—
TIME & LOCATION:
Wednesday, July 16 at 1:30 p.m.
Maricopa County Southeast Courthouse, Courtroom 205
222 East Javelina Avenue
Mesa, AZ 85210
ATTENDEES AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS:
Diana Simpson, attorney, Institute for Justice
Celeste Kelly, Tucson-based equine massage practitioner
Stacey Kollman, Tucson-based equine massage practitioner
Grace Granatelli, Scottsdale-based canine massage practitioner
Can the government take away someone’s job for no good reason? That is the question to be argued tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. before a judge at Maricopa County Southeast Courthouse. The argument will determine the fate of a lawsuit filed in March challenging the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board’s irrational and anti-competitive requirement that animal massage practitioners become licensed veterinarians.
The lawsuit was filed by three animal massage entrepreneurs and the Institute for Justice, a national, public interest law firm. According to the Vet Board, the three entrepreneurs are criminals for practicing their craft without a veterinary license. The consequences of failing to comply are severe—animal massage practitioners face up to six months in jail and fines of $3,500 per violation.
Massage therapists do not need a medical degree to massage humans, but entrepreneurs who want to massage animals in Arizona must spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend four years of veterinary school—where they are not even required to learn massage.
Since the case was filed, the lawsuit has garnered national attention from outlets such as The Economist, Reason Magazine and The Daily Caller.
This lawsuit is part of IJ’s broader initiative to challenge burdensome occupational licensing laws that limit entry into hundreds of professions across the country by requiring a government permission slip to work. In the 1950s, only one in 20 workers needed a government license to do their job. Today, that figure is almost one in three, and Arizona is among the most heavily licensed states.
To learn more about this case, visit ij.org/azmassage. Founded in 1991, the Institute for Justice is the national law firm for liberty.