The second prosecution was by the Disciplinary Committee of the Farriers Registration Council, the British government agency charged with enforcement of the Farriers Registration Act, and which found the farrier guilty of serious professional misconduct and suspended him from the Register of Farriers for three months.
For accuracy, the text that follows is from a transcript from the Farriers Registration Council, with names removed.
The farrier, who been in the Register since October 1983, appeared at the Hearing to answer the following charges:
|Damage to the hoof wall of one of the horses in the case; one front shoe from each horse was cut off the foot, two weeks apart. Photo from ThisIsGloucestershire.co.uk|
2. On 23 February 2011 the criminal damage referred to in paragraph 1 above was such that: (a) you removed a shoe from the front left hoof of Arron without the consent of (the owner), knowing that you were doing so without such consent; and/or (b) you removed the shoe by cutting it off; and/or (c) you removed the shoe other than in the ordinary course of farriery; and/or (d) you caused damage to Arron; and/or (e) you caused unnecessary suffering to Arron.
3. On 7 February 2011 you removed the shoe from a horse named Eric belonging to (the same owner) and in doing so: (a) you removed the shoe without the consent of the owner, knowing that you were doing so without such consent; and/or (b) you removed the shoe by cutting it off; and/or (c) you removed the shoe other than in the ordinary course of farriery; and/or (d) you caused damage to Eric; and/or (e) you caused unnecessary suffering to Eric.
A veterinary surgeon who had attended Arron confirmed the damage to the horses' hooves would have caused both horses pain on walking and unnecessary suffering. The horses required specialist farriery care over many months following the incidents; for Arron this is still ongoing.
The FRC's attorney submitted that “…the Respondent's conduct fell far below expected standards. Causing damage and unnecessary suffering to horses’ breaches the most fundamental principle of farriery...
...In addition, the horses were no longer under the Respondent's care and there was no reason for him to be with the horses: the Council would submit that this behavior must have been pre-meditated.
...The Council would further submit that the damage was an abuse of the Respondent's position, as it made improper use of his professional skills and abilities as a farrier.”
The farrier showed remorse for his actions, admitted all the facts outlined above and that they amounted to serious professional misconduct but offered no explanation.
After full consideration of the facts, the Committee found him guilty of serious misconduct in a professional respect and directed that he should be suspended from the Register for a period of 3 months.
Speaking on behalf of the Committee the Chairman stated: “….Your actions failed to uphold the good reputation of the farriery profession or to show you as honest and trustworthy. Finally, doing this shows a complete failure to comply with your legal obligations...
"…If we thought that your behavior stemmed from an indifference to the suffering which you have caused to the horses, we would have no hesitation in instructing the Registrar to remove your name from the Register. We have, however, seen your genuine sadness, your humiliation and remorse concerning what you have done. We do not expect that there will be any repeat of such actions in the future.”
The farrier's suspension took effect on Thursday 24 May. It will be illegal for him to practice farriery during that interval and to do so will be a criminal offense. He is still subject to a conditional discharge following the magistrates hearing on 21 July 2011.
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