British Columbia Farriers Pursuing Regulation

Groups team up to change veterinary supervision law

Pictured Above: British Columbia farriers may only perform corrective or therapeutic shoeing under the supervision of a veterinarian

While American farriers have dodged a bid to eliminate the farrier exemption from the Model Veterinary Practice Act, their colleagues to the north find themselves in a difficult predicament.

Farriers and other non-veterinarian equine health providers in the Canadian province of British Columbia are in a position that many American farriers believed they were heading toward if the exemption was tossed.

“If you follow the letter of the law, farriers actually can only work under the supervision of a vet,” explains Gerard Laverty, faculty farrier at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Surrey, British Columbia. “That hasn’t been how it has been followed in practice, but it could be brought into place if they decided to do that right now.”

Farrier Takeaways

  • British Columbia farriers, backed by the Western Canadian Farrier’s Association, is exploring farrier registration in an effort to regain control of the trade.
  • The Veterinarians Act in British Columbia doesn’t allow farriers to assess a horse’s health, prescribe corrective therapy, or assess the efficacy of treatment.
  • The pathway to regulation will involve establishing an educational
    program, as well as a minimum standard.

Although farriers have been relatively left alone, the College of Veterinarians in British Columbia has taken action against others in specialty fields.

“Bit by bit,” Laverty says, “the College of Vets in B.C. has been pushing people out of business when they are practicing in an area that they felt…

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Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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