Posted on Friday, August 2, 2013 by Heather Dodd
CHN has heard there is a strong possibility that the Farriers Registration Act will be amended in Parliament. The amendments have not been finalised yet, but it could be that the Farriers’ Registration Council will seek to control and regulate barefoot trimmers, and possibly that non-professional or owner trimmers will be banned entirely.
Whilst it is essential from a welfare point of view that horses’ feet are not damaged by incorrect trimming, this proposed change has left something of a grey area for those who are trained and qualified hoof trimmers or podietrists, but not farriers.
The following is an extract from a news story published on the Farrers’ Registration Council on 16 July 2013
“The FRC has had concerns for some time that the legislation under which it is established and operates, the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 (FRA), is outdated in some respects and no longer meets the public expectations of a professional regulator.
In April 2013 an FRC working group began working with Defra officials to develop proposals to deal with the concerns. The issues raised by the FRC are concerned with improving the efficiency of the Council e.g. by constitutional updates or with equine welfare e.g. the penalties for illegal farriery. Each area of concern or request for regulatory reform will have more than one option as a proposed way forward. These options will be the subject of a public consultation planned to be issued in the Autumn of 2013.
One of the areas of concern that the FRC raised was that of work done on unshod horses. The practice is not regulated by any legislation and options are being considered for the consultation in order to seek out views on this matter. The FRC has alerted some “barefoot trimming” organisations to make them aware that this work is being done. It must be stressed that at this stage Government has not made any firm proposals and it is not clear if any regulatory changes will be made. Ministers will take decisions on this and other matters only after considering the views of all interested parties, which includes “barefoot trimming” organisations and horse owners.”
Perhaps this could be a golden opportunity for The Farriers Council to introduce a national trimming’ qualification as a standard to recognise, and protect, those who wish to make their living from providing a performance trim without shoes for equines.
What do you think? CHN welcomes your comments.