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Farriers (Registration) Act 1975

Comment 7th July 2010

To amend the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 to allow horse owners to shoe their own horses.  Currently it is a CRIME to shoe your own horse, unless you are registered with The Worshipful Company of Farriers.

Why does this matter?


The Farrier (Registration) Act 1975 should be amended to allow horse owners to shoe their own animals.  Currently, a horse owner can trim a horse’s foot but it is a crime to attach a shoe.  I am not suggesting that everybody be allowed to set-up and trade as a farrier, but I cannot see why it is a crime to shoe your own horse.  Educating horse owners about horseshoeing will only improve equine welfare.  For example, local collages could run evening courses on basic horse shoeing and horse foot care for those interested; important knowledge should not be confined to the few.


Farriers often charge over a hundred pounds for a set of four shoes and the quality of the work is sometimes below standard  As horse owners have no way to learn basis horseshoeing, substandard work goes unnoticed and owners pay higher prices too.  Keeping horse owners ignorant about something as basic as horse shoeing, cannot be good for the welfare of the horse or owner.


The Act is supposed to stop cruelty but the overwhelming number of horse owners are caring, responsible people and take ownership of their animals very seriously; I do not believe allowing horse owners to shoe their own animals would increase cruelty.  If proper educational courses were available, horse owners would became knowledgeable about this important aspect of equine management and welfare.  Sadly people who are cruel to animals will be so anyway and there are sufficient organizations and laws to cover this issue.


I owned horses in the UK but only when I went to New Zealand and Australia could I go on courses for horse owners to learn to shoe a horses; in these countries you can shoe your own horses, but not in the UK.  Even though shoeing a horse is an ancient skill there are modern aids to doing so nowadays, including the wide availability of premade shoes, training materials, tools etc; indeed you can even get glue-on shoes.


Implementing this idea will have very little effect on the members of The Worshipful Company of Farriers as there will always be a demand for skilled people who charge reasonable prices, by those who do not wish to shoe their own animals themselves.  The only reason why The Worshipful Company of Farreirs would opposes this idea, is to protecting the financial interests of their members in a closed-shop trade.


Times have moved on since 1975 and this Act needs to be reviewed.

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