Bill allowing chiropractors to work on animals passes Houseby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The House has passed an Agriculture Policy bill that allows chiropractors to work on animals if they receive training. The bill also requires a referral from a veterinarian.
Supporters of the animal chiropractic measure say they want to give their pets another form of treatment.
Chiropractors and veterinarians were at odds over the initial bill, but compromised on requiring the vet referral.
Rep. Jim Abeler (R-Anoka) is a chiropractor who said he does not intend to work on animals. But he said some people could find the treatment useful for their pets.
"You can make jokes about the whole bill and all of that. But I tell you there's a world of alternative care that people seek and a lot of it is for cash, be it chiropractors, natureopaths, homeopaths and the like, from which the derive huge benefit. And just because it's new or unusual does not mean it's not a good idea," Abeler said.
Rep. Mark Buesgens (R-Jordan) said pet owners should be allowed to take their pets to a chiropractor without a vet referral.
"I don't know why the long arm of government has to be telling chiropractors where they can and can't operate. For government to be putting this into law is ridiculous," said Buesgens.
Veterinarians said they were worried that chiropractors were not fully trained to spot all types of injuries on an animal.
Another provision requires chiropractors to post a sign notifying customers that they treat animals.
The House passed the bill on a 121 to 7 vote. The Senate has included similar language in its Agriculture Policy Bill. The two bills now need to be reconciled in conference committee.