This Is Your Government On Horse Tranquilizers
Great headline over at reason on a story horrifying to anyone who cares at all for civil liberties. The Nick Gillespie piece is headered:
Forget the Happy Ending, Mr. Ed: Woman Would Face 20 Years in Jail for Unlicensed Horse Massages
The libertarian public-interest law firm Institute for Justice reports on one of the most insane, inane, and profane prosecutions in all-time memory.
That’s the absurd fate Karen Hough could face if she wants to continue her business in Nebraska. A certified instructor, Karen has been massaging horses for years. Massaging a horse is believed to deliver many health benefits, including relieving tension, improving circulation, and alleviating muscle fatigue.
Earlier this year, she applied for a license in equine massage but was told only veterinarians can become licensed. A 2007 memo from Nebraska’s Board of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery asserted that “no health professional other than licensed veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians may perform services/therapies on animals.” This means Karen would need to spend thousands of dollars and seven years of her life just to acquire a government permission slip to do what she’s been doing for years.
A few weeks later, she received a letter from Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services ordering her to “cease and desist” from the “unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine.” In Nebraska, continuing to operate a business without a license after getting a cease and desist letter is a Class III felony. So Karen could face up to 20 years in prison and pay a $25,000 fine. By comparison, that’s the same penalty for manslaughter in the Cornhusker State.