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Although there’s no one reason the question of standards and regulation within the United States farrier trade has been raised, the development of the Veterinary Equine Podiatry Group has no doubt played a role.
The Veterinary Equine Podiatry Group (VEPG) is made up of more than 30 equine veterinarians who aim to establish a college of specialty in veterinary equine podiatry.
“Our intent,” Mark Silverman explains, “is to set up regulations, testing and verification of veterinary skill set and a knowledge base for equine veterinarians.”
While Silverman, who is spearheading the efforts, has repeated this explanation many times, there is a healthy dose of skepticism among farriers.
According to a survey conducted by the American Farriers Journal, 55% of farriers believe that further development of the group will lead to potential licensing and more veterinary control over farriers.
“I think farriers are assuming that we are looking to make legislative changes and we’re not,” says Silverman, who’s an equine veterinarian and farrier who partners with farrier Ernest Woodward at the Southern California Equine Podiatry Center in San Marcos, Calif. “We’re just looking to improve ourselves and make vets who claim to be foot experts to put up and actually say, ‘Yeah, I’m credentialed. I’ve been through this program and been accepted to this college, and I’m certified in this.’”
Currently, veterinarians can participate in 22 specialty organizations with 40 distinct specialties including surgery, toxicology and pathology. If the specialty is formed, it will require rigorous training and education for…