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Massage Today
September, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 09

Washington State Legislates Animal Massage

By Editorial Staff

Washington Governor Gary Locke signed Senate Bill 5621 on May 14, recognizing animal massage as a professional service independent of veterinary medicine. The bill reads, in part:


1: The legislature finds that massage therapists have contributed significantly to the welfare of humans. The legislature also finds that massage therapists can have a significant positive impact on the well-being of animals, especially in the equine industry. It is the legislature's intent to have the Washington state board of massage adopt rules under their current authority providing for an endorsement for currently licensed massage practitioners to perform animal massage upon completion of certain training courses."

The legislation, sponsored by state Senator Marilyn Rasmussen (D), allows currently licensed massage practitioners to apply for endorsement as "animal massage practitioners." The requirement for endorsement will be 100 hours of training in specific subjects, although therapists may apply up to 50 hours of practical experience toward the requirement until July 2002.

The legislation follows more than two years of negotiations between the Veterinarian Board of Governors and local massage therapists in Washington. For additional information, contact Lola Michelin, chair of the Washington Animal Massage Association, at (206) 550-2677 or .


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