The British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association (BFBA), in liaison with David Mountford (Chief Executive Officer of BEVA), Jeanette Allen (Chief Executive of The Horse Trust), Roly Owers (Chief Executive Officer of World Horse Welfare) and Jan Rogers (Director of Research and Policy at The Horse Trust), have provided guidance for registered farriers during this incredibly difficult time to ensure that the welfare of equines is maintained whilst strictly adhering to the biosecurity and social distancing recommendations provided by the government.
It is mutually agreed that farriery is considered essential work. Yesterday (24th March 2020) the Farrier’s Registration Council confirmed that DEFRA had agreed to registered farriers continuing to practise farriery notwithstanding the current restrictions in place due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The BFBA consider that unnecessary travel should be avoided and registered farriers are asked to consider each appointment according to the following system –
RED – Farrier Should Attend – crucial hoofcare – to not attend a regular hoofcare appointments would have serious detrimental effects, promote discomfort and cause pain. This includes care of foals.
AMBER – Farrier Should Consider Delaying Where Possible – advisory hoofcare – where the timing of regular hoofcare appointments is an important factor in maintaining soundness. Consideration must be given as to whether the timescale between appointments can be extended without the equine becoming a ‘red’
GREEN – Farrier Should Not Attend – non crucial hoofcare – these include equines whose hoofcare cycles can be easily extended without any long-term detrimental affects
Whilst at the appointment –
Farriers should call ahead to verify that no-one present is ill or has been in contact with anyone who is ill. Furthermore, no more than one owner or carer should be in attendance at appointments and should tie the horse up and then immediately move away to a safe distance to allow the farrier to work.
Registered farriers fall into a unique group who provide essential care for equines. Up to date advice can be found on the BFBA website – www.bfba.co.uk or by contacting the BFBA Head Office on 024 76 696595, email firstname.lastname@example.org. All registered farriers have a Registration Card (which is available upon request) and are listed on the Farriers Registration Council website – https://www.farrier-reg.gov.uk/ – and by following the ‘Find a Farrier’ link.