Frankly Speaking: A Wake Up Call For Farriers

In this issue, there are a few references to mutually respectful relationships between farriers and veterinarians. In the "Lessons From The Track" article, Kentucky farrier Joey Carroll says it is OK to “disagree, but don’t be disagreeable,” when working with a vet counterpart. In the story on working with halter horses, Texas farrier Adam Matthews credits the vets whom he works with for helping him improve hoof health.

With the strong support of working relationships in this issue, it is strange to also feature coverage of the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) proposed elimination of the farrier exemption in the Model Veterinary Practice Act (MVPA). Coverage of this and reaction from the industry can be read here. The AVMA is asking for feedback on the proposal by the end of March. Concern over these changes has led to suspicion among many farriers of the true intentions of this significant change.

Speculation Runs Wild

Opinions on the true meaning of these changes vary greatly. On one end of the spectrum, there is the trusting opinion that farriers have nothing to fear as long as the farrier doesn’t exceed influence beyond the hoof capsule. The removal of the exemption is simply a distinction that farriery is outside of veterinary medicine, according to the limited reasoning provided by the AVMA.

At the other end of the spectrum is the opinion that this is a backdoor way for the veterinary bureaucracy to exert control over farriers. If this exemption is removed…

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