SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5621





                        57th Legislature

                      2001 Regular Session

Passed by the Senate April 17, 2001

  YEAS 46   NAYS 3




President of the Senate


Passed by the House April 10, 2001

  YEAS 95   NAYS 0



I, Tony M. Cook, Secretary of the Senate of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is  SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5621 as passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on the dates hereon set forth.




Speaker of the

      House of Representatives






Speaker of the

      House of Representatives



Approved Place Style On Codes above, and Style Off Codes below.  





Governor of the State of Washington

                   Secretary of State

                  State of Washington



                    SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL 5621



                      AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE


             Passed Legislature - 2001 Regular Session


State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Agriculture & International Trade (originally sponsored by Senators Rasmussen, Sheahan, Shin, Roach, Constantine, Patterson, Prentice, Thibaudeau and Kohl‑Welles)



Authorizing animal massage.   

    AN ACT Relating to animal therapy; amending RCW 18.108.010; adding a new section to chapter 18.108 RCW; and creating a new section.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 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.


    Sec. 2.  RCW 18.108.010 and 1997 c 297 s 2 are each amended to read as follows:

    In this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the following meanings shall apply:

    (1) "Board" means the Washington state board of massage.

    (2) "Massage" and "massage therapy" mean a health care service involving the external manipulation or pressure of soft tissue for therapeutic purposes.  Massage therapy includes techniques such as tapping, compressions, friction, Swedish gymnastics or movements, gliding, kneading, shaking, and facial or connective tissue stretching, with or without the aids of superficial heat, cold, water, lubricants, or salts.  Massage therapy does not include diagnosis or attempts to adjust or manipulate any articulations of the body or spine or mobilization of these articulations by the use of a thrusting force, nor does it include genital manipulation.

    (3) "Massage practitioner" means an individual licensed under this chapter.

    (4) "Secretary" means the secretary of health or the secretary's designee.

    (5) "Massage business" means the operation of a business where massages are given.

    (6) "Animal massage practitioner" means an individual with a license to practice massage therapy in this state with additional training in animal therapy.


    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.  A new section is added to chapter 18.108 RCW to read as follows:

    (1) A massage practitioner licensed under this chapter may apply for an endorsement as a small or large animal massage practitioner upon completion of one hundred hours of training in either large or small animal massage.  Training must include animal massage techniques, kinesiology, anatomy, physiology, first aid care, and proper handling techniques.

    (2) An applicant who applies for an endorsement within the first year following the effective date of this act may submit documentation of a minimum of fifty hours of training with up to fifty hours of practical experience or continuing education, or a combination thereof, to fulfill the requirements of this section.

    (3) Massage therapy of animals does not include diagnosis, prognosis, or all treatment of diseases, deformities, defects, wounds, or injuries of animals.  For the purposes of this section, massage for therapeutic purposes may be performed solely for purposes of patient well-being.

    (4) A person licensed and endorsed under this section may hold themselves out as an animal massage practitioner.

    (5) The board may adopt rules to implement this section upon consultation with the Washington state veterinary board of governors and licensed massage practitioners with training in animal massage.


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