Those wishing to practice the profession of equine massage just might face fewer restrictions soon.
State legislators have advanced a measure which would greatly reduce restrictions for those practicing horse massage. They would have to undergo training and be registered with the state. They would not have to be practicing veterinarians.
Still, even the restrictions left raise a few eyebrows among legislators.
Sen. John Kuehn of Heartwell, a veterinarian, opposes creating the registry, asking colleagues who they are trying to appease.
“I really believe if we’re going to be serious about talking about reducing barriers to people getting to work, running a business, contributing to our economy, we need to think carefully about what kind of barriers we are creating in this body and why we are creating them,” Kuehn says during legislative floor debate.
Sen. Laura Ebke of Crete asks colleagues why the state even needs to be involved in the profession.
“Do we really need to have any sort of government regulation of this profession or of this occupation?” Ebke asks. “It is in many ways a protectionist scheme designed to limit the number of people who can come into the occupation.”
Sen. Mike Groene of North Platte sponsors LB 596. He defends including a state registry in his bill, stating maintaining a registry is important and not burdensome.
“Gives me the ability as a citizen when I move to the state or have a horse to look on the registry and say, ‘Oh, there’s an equine massage practitioner just down the road. I can give them a call. I know they’ve gone through some process, that they’re qualified, and not some whacko who decides they want to do things with horses,’” Groene tells colleagues.
Lawmakers advance the bill to second round debate unanimously, 38-0. It must clear two more hurdles to move to the governor’s desk.