PHOENIX (AP) -- 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 says 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 massage therapists claim that veterinarian school does not teach anything on massaging animals and have noted that human massage practitioners do not need a medical degree to practice their craft.
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.