The Farrier Registration Council is removing a Cornwall shoer from its roster after he was convicted of physically harming a horse while providing hoof-care services.
Michael McNamara, 41, who has been a farrier for 24 years, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal after punching, kicking and striking the tethered horse with his nippers 18 times. The incident was recorded on closed circuit video. A judge issued a 6-month community order, a night-time curfew and banned him from working with horses for 3 years.
The FRC’s Disciplinary Committee reviewed the case after McNamara’s conviction and determined that it will remove him from the register. He is eligible for consideration for reinstatement in 2 years and 6 months. Restoration is not automatic, the committee states. McNamara will need to persuade the committee that “it is safe and appropriate to restore him to the register.” The findings and sanction are subject to appeal.
“The conduct displayed by Mr McNamara was in every way appalling and has inflicted damage on the reputation of the profession of farriery,” says David Hall, chair of the FRC. “Together with our colleagues in the profession, the regulator will redouble its efforts to ensure high standards of equine welfare, such that the public may have confidence in Registered Farriers and the important work they do.”
The Worshipful Company of Farriers “absolutely condemns” McNamara’s actions, according to a statement.
“The Company finds any such conduct completely unacceptable, be it towards other persons or the equine,” it states. “The Company wishes to emphasize its faith in the vast majority of farriers who do not conduct themselves in such a way and recognizes that most farriers behave in a professional and compassionate manner. It is important that the damaging actions of a small few do not detract from the excellent work carried out by the majority of farriers in the U.K. or bring the profession into disrepute.”