COVID-19: BFBA advice for farriers

Statement released by the British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association, 24th March 2020 - 

This afternoon we have spoken with David Mountford (Chief Executive Officer of BEVA), Jeanette Allen (Chief Executive of The Horse Trust), Roly Owers (Chief Executive Officer of World Horse Welfare) and Jan Rogers (Director of Research and Policy at The Horse Trust) and we are indebted to them for their knowledge and succinct advice.

It is mutually agreed that farriery is considered essential work. We are currently at the beginning of an initial three week lock down period and in the coming weeks we will continue to liaise with them.

Whilst we agree that farriery is essential, we are also mindful of our responsibilities as individuals whilst continuing to provide hoofcare services and must adhere to the strictest biosecurity measures and the government guidelines on social distancing. Unnecessary travel should be avoided and we ask that you consider each appointment according to the following system -

RED - Farrier Should Attend - crucial hoofcare - to not attend a regular hoofcare appointments would have serious detrimental effects, promote discomfort and cause pain. This includes care of foals.

AMBER - Farrier Should Consider Delaying Where Possibleadvisory hoofcare – where the timing of regular hoofcare appointments is an important factor in maintaining soundness. Consideration must be given as to whether the timescale between appointments can be extended without the equine becoming a ‘red’

GREEN – Farrier Should Not Attend - non crucial hoofcare – these include equines whose hoofcare cycles can be easily extended without any long-term detrimental affects

Whilst at the appointment -

Call ahead to verify that no-one present is ill or has been in contact with anyone who is ill. 

No more than one owner or carer should be in attendance at appointments and should tie the horse up and then immediately move away to a safe distance to allow you to work.

Registered farriers fall into a unique group who provide essential care for equines. It is crucial we must demonstrate beyond all reasonable doubt that we take our responsibilities seriously so as not to jeopardise our privileged industry position and the equines we care for.

As the situation continues to evolve, we will endeavour to update you as and when information becomes available. Should the UK be ‘locked down’ further we would expect a more definitive list of those able to work and we will be in a position to represent farriery should that be that case.

BFBA Executive Committee.

Visit the BFBA website for further advice regarding -

Published 24th March 2020