How Can Farriers Protect Their Interests?

American Veterinary Medical Association’s proposed elimination of farrier exemption underscores industry’s call to action

Farriers belong to an industry with a healthy contribution to the United States economy.

The entire equine industry generates about $122 billion in total economic impact, according to the American Horse Council (AHC) Foundation’s 2017 Economic Impact Study of the U.S. Horse Industry, which was released in late February. It’s responsible for 1.74 million jobs and $79 billion in total salaries, wages and benefits.

Although the U.S. Census Bureau does not collect data on the number of farriers in the nation, most industry estimates put the population around 28,000. Farriers average $80,678 in gross income, according to the American Farriers Journal’s 2016 Farrier Business Practices Survey. That accounts for approximately $2.258 billion in total gross income. In addition, the average farrier spends $18,469 a year on footcare products, which calculates to an estimated $517 million in expenditures.

Farrier Takeaways

  • American Farrier’s Association calls for the American Veterinary MedicalAssociation to acknowledge “farriery exists outside the realm of veterinary
  • medicine” within the Model Veterinary Practice Act.
  • Farrier organizations share ideas for how they can work together.
  • Although farriers support lobbying, trade organizations are not well positioned to do so.

How are farriers protecting their interests? It’s a reasonable question considering that 82% of farriers oppose the American Veterinary Medical Asso­ciation’s (AVMA) proposal to remove the farrier exemption from the Model Veterinary Practice Act (MVPA)’s def­ini­tion of the practice of veterinary med­icine. The definition is cited in Section 2(16) of its 37-page document.

“‘Practice of veterinary medicine’ means:

a. To diagnose, prognose, treat…

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Cota

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 25 years. A native of Maine, he is the Managing Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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