WI Animal Massage Law

Published: January 10, 2018

Wisconsin's Massage Therapy and Bodywork Therapy License scope of practice does not included animal massage. Our practice act, Wis Statute 460.01(4), defines massage therapy or bodywork therapy as "....manipulate the soft tissue of the human body...."

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue notes that animal massage not performed by a veterinarian is subject to sales tax. You can download the massage tax fact sheet from the DOR at https://www.revenue.wi.gov/DOR.../2109-MassageTherapy.pdf

January 2018 Legislative Update

Updated January 10, 2018

The Wisconsin Veterinary Examining Board (VEB) proposes to create a law specifying that a veterinarian may make a referral to another Wisconsin-licensed professional for Complementary, Alternative and Integrative therapies (CAIT), under certain qualifications. Clearinghouse Rule CR 17-084

This may be seen as a very positive development for those who practice massage for animals. Currently, Veterinarians are statutorily prohibited from referring to those who are not licensed under veterinary medicine, and the VEB has directed some animal alternative therapy practitioners to cease until current law is clarified. If enacted, the law would clarify that Veterinarians may legally make referrals for CAIT, including massage. While the proposed law limits those referrals by Veterinarians to animal trained and state licensed CAIT professionals, it also clarifies that animal owners may directly contract with non-licensed providers for their animal's care. This reduces barriers to practice for all groups of animal practitioners.

AMTA Wisconsin Chapter Government Relations wants member input prior to submitting comment to the VEB. Please take a moment to answer a very quick survey.
Click here to take the survey

We will continue to monitor this proposed legislation.

You  may read the proposed law in full at


Do you want to submit a comment to the state?
Four hearings will be held on the proposed law.  Jan 9, 2018 in Eau Claire. Jan 10 in Green Bay. Jan 11 in Waukesha. Jan 12 in Madison.  Information on hearings and commenting is available online at https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/code/register/2017/744A2/register/rule_notices/cr_17_084_hearing_information/cr_17_084_hearing_information
AMTA Wisconsin sent a representative at the January 10th hearing. If you are not able to attend a hearing, please send them to the contact listed in the link above.

As an AMTA Wisconsin Chapter member benefit - your membership, dues, and contributions allow us to fund a "Legislative Watch" so we may monitor and respond to such developments as this (and attempts that have made to deregulate massage therapy).

Not a member - consider joining - Government Relations is just one of the many benefits that come standard with membership. If becoming a member isn't in your business plan at the moment, consider a contribution to the Wisconsin Chapter - it's not deductible as a charitable donation but consult your accountant as it may be deducted as a business expense for tax purposes. ps - Members can contribute too!