Lawsuit claims animal massage isn't vets' work

PHOENIX - A group of Arizona animal massage therapists says they shouldn't require a license from the state because they are not practicing veterinary medicine.

Three animal massage practitioners are jointly suing the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board, arguing state regulators are unconstitutionally preventing them from doing their jobs.

The board filed a motion for the lawsuit's dismissal and both sides presented arguments July 16 in Maricopa County Superior Court.

It's not known when the judge will make a ruling.

The case has raised the issue of whether animal massage should be considered veterinary medicine.

The plaintiffs say the statute defining veterinary medicine is overly broad and that animal massage is a separate discipline.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office argues the board has a legitimate interest in public health and safety.

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