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Monday, August 25, 2008

Common Farrier Licensing System Announced for Europe

In November 2008,The European Federation of Farrier Associations (EFFA) will launch the much-anticipated Europe-wide farrrier qualification system to be called "Certified Euro-Farrier". Working farriers who have completed a course of formal training and have achieved national qualifications in a country whose system is recognized as meeting EFFA’s Basic Standards of Competence will be entitled to put CE-F after their names.

Qualified farriers will be awarded a certificate and from 1 January 2009 will receive an annual vehicle window sticker.

Countries currently registered as being eligible are Switzerland, Holland, Austria, Great Britain, Denmark and Finland. Other countries will be accredited as they reach the necessary standard.

The farrier associations in each country will be responsible for submitting the names of those eligible and for keeping the record up to date with additions and removals. Names and contact details of CE-Fs will be published on EFFA’s website (www.eurofarrier.org).

The aims of the Certified Euro-Farrier scheme are to :

• Provide recognition for those who have achieved the necessary standards of competence;

• Provide a means of identifying competent farriers from other countries. This is particularly important for horse owners in view of EU legislation allowing farriers to practice in other countries purely on the basis of experience; and

• Encourage countries without qualifications or with lower level qualifications to raise standards of farriery to meet the EFFA standard.

Membership in EFFA is open to all farriery associations in all European nations, whether they are members of the EU or not. Current member nations are: Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain, Ireland, Holland, Spain, Iceland and the Czech Republic. However, not all nations have education and testing systems that comply with the eu-farrier qualification system at the start.

Germany, for instance, has a farrier training and apprenticeship system of longstanding that was recently tested in the federal courts when jurisdiction of farrier licensing was shifted from the metal trades (blacksmithing) to agriculture (horses). As part of the shift, farriery was ordered to combine barefoot trimming and so-called "soft shoeing" (non-steel) into training curricula. The dust is still settling there, as a federal court judge last year ruled that the natural hoofcare providers could be exempt from government oversight of training programs.

Requests for further details or clarification of the new qualification system should be sent to Miles Williamson-Noble, Certified Euro-Farrier Registrar at eurofarrier@btinternet.com.

Presumably, the British DipWCF level test would translate into the Eu-Farrier qualification.

Thanks to Miles Williamson-Noble for core information in this post.

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