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Monday, 20 April 2009 19:21

Defra has now published a Code of Practice

for the Welfare of Horses, Ponies, Donkeys and their Hybrids


Development of equine barefoot trimming standards welcomed by Defra

An open forum to discuss the need to develop National Occupational Standards (NOS) for equine barefoot trimming was organised by Lantra, as a result of research into the equine paraprofessionals industry’s current and future skills requirements that highlighted a need for recognised standards for the UK to be developed.

The decision as to whether National Occupational Standards (NOS) should be developed to cover equine barefoot trimming was a controversial one.  Traditionally this work has been the preserve of highly qualified farriers who have followed a lengthy apprenticeship.  But as the law permits non-farriers to carry out barefoot trimming, many in the equine world believe it important to the welfare of horses that best practice is established within a suite of NOS. However their development also provides the initial first step towards the development of qualifications and greater recognition for paraprofessionals to carry out this work.

Chair of the event, Chris House MRCVS, President of the British Equine Veterinary Association said: “The meeting evoked a constructive and lively discussion, which, I am pleased to announce, reached a broad agreement that a NOS suite should be developed.”

Organisations representing equine barefoot trimming, farriery and equine health and welfare attended the event.

  • Association for the Advancement of Natural Horse Care Practices (AANHCP)

  • British Equine Veterinary Association

  • British Horse Society

  • British Veterinary Nursing Association

  • Equine Podiatry Association (UK)

  • Farriers Registration Council

  • Farriery Training Agency

  • Institute of Applied Equine Podiatry

  • National Association of Farriers, Blacksmiths and Agricultural Engineers

  • National Equine Welfare Council

  • Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

  • Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

  • South Essex Insurance Brokers Ltd

  • The Blue Cross

  • UK National Hoof Care Practitioners

  • Warwickshire College

  • Worshipful Company of Farriers.


Equine barefoot trimming
Equine barefoot trimming in progress

Defra Statement on Equine Barefoot Trimming

“Defra welcomes Lantra’s initiative to develop National Occupational Standards for equine barefoot trimming.  We are also pleased to note the position statement, jointly agreed by the Farriers Registration Council, Farriers Training Agency, Worshipful Company of Farriers and the National Association of farriers, Blacksmiths and Agricultural Engineers.

“Since the EFRA Committee inquiry into the need to replace the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, no further consideration has been given to the future scope of any new overarching framework for regulating a broader range of service providers in the area of animal care.  Nor is there currently, a firm timetable for taking this work forward.  But the development of NOS for equine barefoot trimming would seem to be consistent with the  wider objectives of such a framework  as set out in our evidence to the Efra Committee: in particular the need to protect animal health and welfare and the  protection of  the consumer.  We also recognise the opportunities to link a new National Occupational Standard with other equine related qualifications.”


Lantra Industry Partnership Manager, Lisa Jarvis added: “I am looking forward to working with the various industry representatives to develop the barefoot trimming NOS and ensuring that they are driven by the welfare of the horses.”

For more information contact Lantra on 0845 707 8007 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it




Barefoot trimmers UK covering, Somerset, Wales, Wiltshire, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and Gloucestershire

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