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Among roughly 75 AFA members, educators, suppliers and non-members who attended the mid-September “open forum” sponsored by the American Farrier’s Association, nobody spoke in favor of regulating and licensing farriers. In conversations with farriers after the conclusion of the 4-hour forum, it was suggested that the reason was that nobody wanted to risk being lynched.
Held the day prior to the AFA mid-year board meeting in Omaha, Neb., the meeting’s purpose was to encourage discussion on farrier regulation, licensing and the planned evaluation of North American shoeing schools.
Major questions from the attendees dealt with why the farrier registration and licensing task force operated in secrecy, whether vets or other groups were actually pushing for farrier licensing, the lack of communication about the matter with farriers, concerns about the impact of state veterinary practice acts on equine footcare and the controversy concerning the role of farrier schools in footcare education.
The proposed survey of the farrier schools received considerable attention. Jeff Rodriquez from Golden, Colo., said that AFA can’t tell schools what to do and can’t afford to alienate them as he says has happened in recent months. He doesn’t believe AFA has the right to tell schools who to hire as qualified instructors, who to accept as students, how much to charge for tuition or what is the proper duration of instruction. The original task force chairman had recommended 2 years of training for farriers at schools.
Reggie Kester stated that he couldn’t understand why…