On March 2, the Florida Board of Veterinary Practice (FBVP) unanimously voted that their interpretation of the state’s practice act (which governs animal care and what is construed as veterinary medicine) said acupressure, aromatherapy, animal communication, farriery, flower essence therapy, homeopathy, light therapy, magnet therapy, and nutritional counseling are all practices limited to Florida licensed veterinarians.


However, after the meeting, the board chairman said that the group should have been more specific about farriery.


The FBVP dedicated a portion of its general business meeting to assist the Florida Alliance for Animal Owners Rights (FAAOR) with questions regarding the practice of veterinary medicine in the state. FAAOR is seeking to increase the animal owner’s options in seeking care from persons other than licensed veterinarians. They gave the board a list of 10 practices on which to rule.


According to Robert O’Neil, DVM, FBVP chairman and a racetrack practitioner in South Florida, the state’s statute was re-read, and the governor-appointed board–which consists of five veterinarians and two non-veterinarians–voted on its interpretation, which was unanimous that all 10 were technically the practice of veterinary medicine.


Including farriery on the list came as a surprise to the farrier community; the Florida State Farriers Association and American Farrier’s Association were not notified by FAAOR that their profession would be the subject of a decision or even that farriery was on such a list. They were not invited to attend or provide input.


“We should have been more specific about farriery,” O’Neil admitted. “Shoeing a horse is not the practice of veterinary medicine, but prescribing a heart-bar shoe for a severe problem might be.”


FAAOR is a 75-member non-profit organization seeking to change th