Reader Commentary: May/June 2018

The AVMA Should Reconsider Farrier Exemption Exclusion

It is my belief that horsemanship is an art, not a science.

This point of view shapes my concern about the proposed modifications to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Model Veterinary Practice Act (MVPA), especially regarding the farrier exemption elimination. I believe it is our responsibility to openly and honestly consider the potential impacts of this proposal.

The proposed exemption elimination [see “Farriers Question AVMA’s Proposed Elimination Of Exemption” in the March 2018 issue of American Farriers Journal ] creates the language for potential enforcement of restrictive regulations in the future. The AVMA’s terminology is irrefutably subjective when used to create a defining line between veterinary practice and the farrier profession. If a shoe must be used to achieve the desired mechanics in a horse’s foot, would a farrier be required to have a veterinarian diagnose the horse first to keep in accordance with the MVPA?

Should this proposed elimination be accepted, erosion of the shared ground between farriers and veterinarians will create inevitable changes in the equine industry. Although the idea that the proposal will only affect veterinarians might be believable on paper, I see this as a naïve misconception. I anticipate that the elimination will stifle the potential of industry pioneers, increase farrier liability, cause the loss of possible collaboration between farriers and veterinarians, increase veterinarians’ responsibility and decrease entrepreneurship.

It is my sincere hope that the AVMA will reconsider and withdraw their proposal to eliminate the farrier exemption. The…

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