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Arizona judge refuses to dismiss suit over animal massage

PHOENIX — A judge is refusing to dismiss a lawsuit in which Arizona animal
massage therapists are suing a state board that wants to regulate the therapists
as practicing veterinarian medicine.

The ruling by Judge David Udall of Maricopa County Superior Court said the
potential for disputes about facts in the case make it inappropriate to grant
state officials’ motion for dismissal.

Three massage practitioners filed the lawsuit in March, contending that the
Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board is unconstitutionally
preventing them from doing their jobs.

The board argued for dismissal on grounds that the board can regulate
animal-care practices such as massage because the board has a legitimate
interest in public health and safety.