The United Kingdom Horse Shoers Union

The voice of the farrier.


Farriers’ Qualifications (European Recognition) Regulations 2008

Defra promotes "serious damage to the health or safety of animals"

Using a Registered Farrier will no longer assure that your horse is safe under new laws. Unqualified farriers from EU countries are now allowed to practice here in the UK without any checks on their competence. An amendment to the Farriers Registration Act came into force on 31st March which means that if you can nail a bit of car tyre onto a poor beast in Romania then you are welcome to have a go here and can become a Registered Farrier free of charge.

The Farriers Registration Act was brought in by Michael Mates MP in 1975 to prevent suffering to horses arising from unskilled horseshoeing. It ensured that all registered farriers are properly trained. However the EU has made a mockery of British legislation. The EU Commission stated that: “Directive 2005/36/EC does not allow prior checks of qualifications for avoiding serious damage to the health or safety of animals”.

The UK used to lead the world in its animal welfare legislation but we are being dragged down to the standards of nations not known for their care of horses such as Bulgaria, Latvia, and Slovenia. Under the rules of Parliament the Farriers’ Qualifications (European Recognition) Regulations 2008 can be annulled by a vote of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords up until the 2nd May. Anyone concerned for the welfare of horses is urged to contact their MP urgently and ask them to put a stop to this disgraceful abuse of our horses.

Relevant Documents:

House of Lords Debate 3rd June 2008 - Hansard

Countryside Alliance Briefing 27th May 2007




letter ukhsu to defra 171207.doc

Reply to consultees - 06MAR08.doc

letter ukhsu defra 100308.doc

letter defra to ukhsu 310308.doc


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