Licensing for…pet groomers?

February 06, 2012 | By TIMOTHY SANDEFUR

The Reason Foundation’s Adam Summers notes the latest bad idea to hit California: a bill to impose licensing laws on pet groomers.

The bill would establish minimum age and education requirements for potential licensees (18 years old and at least a 10th grade education), impose licensing fees, and charge the licensing board with developing standardized written and practical demonstration tests for applicants. In addition, it would require an inspection of every licensed pet groomer in the state each year and mandate that licensees maintain detailed records for two years (“including a list of any chemicals used while performing the services and any medical conditions discovered during the performance of services”). Moreover, as a San Diego Union-Tribune article about the bill notes, the legislation has drawn criticism from groomers because it would also force them to individually cage animals that would be calmer if they were not confined.

Licensing laws like this do not protect the general public. They entrench established businesses and raise prices for consumers by making it harder for businesses to open up and compete with each other. Standardized written tests and educational prerequisites to be a groomer? If there’s something job-seeking Californians don’t need, it’s a Mutt Manicure Monopoly or a Cat Combing Cartel.