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Although there’s a considerable debate being waged over farrier licensing, it’s not an argument that’s unique to this industry.
A number of industries, courts, lawmakers and bureaucrats have been busy sorting through the profusion of perspectives and disputes — and dispensing a few of their own along the way. Much of the information gleaned from these cases and research directly apply to farriery.
According to a 2015 report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers titled, “Occupational Licensing: A Framework For Policymakers,” the number of American workers who must receive government approval before they are allowed to perform the duties of their chosen profession never has been higher.
“More than one-quarter of U.S. workers now require a license to do their jobs,” the report states. “The share of workers licensed at the state level has risen five-fold since the 1950s.”
“The major purpose of a license is to protect the public health and safety by preventing unqualified people from practicing a given profession or occupation,” Steve Kraus told attendees at the Cornell University Farrier Conference in mid November. “Licensing is also a formal and legal way of defining a profession and a means of including, in practice, those who meet predetermined standards deemed necessary for the protection of the public.”
There’s also an element of benefit to workers, which is often cited by farriers who advocate for licensing.
While occupational licensing offers clear professional benefits and public safety protection, it also creates substantial…