Mr Ross Finnie, Scottish Minister for Environment and Rural Development has announced that from 30 March 2007 all those practising farriery in Scotland will need to be registered with the Farriers Registration Council (FRC) of Great Britain.
The new requirement ends a previous exemption which allowed unregistered persons to practise farriery in the Highlands and Islands areas of Scotland which comprises of: Highland Region, Western Isles Islands Area, Orkney Islands Area, Shetland Islands Area and all other Scottish Islands (including those in the Firth of Clyde).
Persons failing to register, and who continue to practise farriery anywhere in Scotland, could be fined up to £1,000.
Minister Ross Finnie said: “This measure will ensure that the practise of farriery is uniformly controlled throughout the whole of Scotland. Horses and their owners in the Highlands and Islands will have the same degree of protection as that currently enjoyed by those elsewhere in Scotland.”
The FRC was established under the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 as the statutory body responsible for the administration of the “Register of Farriers”. The register records the details of all those farriers who have satisfied the prescribed registration conditions.
The Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 was introduced to prevent and avoid suffering by, and cruelty to horses, arising from shoeing by unskilled persons; to promote the shoeing of horses and the training of farriers; to establish the Farriers Registration Council (FRC) to register persons engaged in farriery and to prohibit the shoeing of horses by unqualified persons.
The Act came fully into effect in England and Wales in 1980.
The requirement to be registered came into force in Scotland on 1 November 1981, but specifically excluded rural areas and islands because of fears that there might not be enough farriers eligible for registration to cover these remote areas and carry out all necessary farriery work.
The Acts do not apply in Northern Ireland.