Farriers' Qualification (European Recognition) Regulations 2008

House of Lords written question – answered on 15th May 2008.

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Photo of Lord Willoughby de Broke Lord Willoughby de Broke UKIP

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Rooker on 6 May (WA 50) concerning the Farriers' Qualification (European Recognition) Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/646), whether they consulted the United Kingdom farriers industry before introducing the regulations; and, if so, what were the results of that consultation.

Photo of Lord Rooker Lord Rooker Minister of State (Sustainable Farming, Food and Animal Welfare), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Minister of State (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) (Sustainable Farming, Food and Animal Welfare), Deputy Leader of the House of Lords

A written consultation on these regulations was launched on 7 November 2007 and closed on 19 December 2007 with the Farriers Registration Council (FRC), the Worshipful Company of Farriers, the UK Horse Shoers Union (UKHSU) and the National Association of Farriers, Blacksmiths and Agricultural Engineers. Responses were received from the FRC and the UKHSU. We also consulted regularly during the previous 18 months with the FRC as the regulator and competent authority as concerns farriery.

The consultation paper made it clear that we were not consulting on the principles underlying directive 2005/36/EC. Its main provisions had already been transposed by the European Communities (Recognition of Professional Qualifications) Regulations 2007 (SI 2007/2781) ("the DIUS regulations") and came into force on 19 October 2007.

The Farriers' Qualification (European Recognition) Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/646) amend the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 to give full effect to the DIUS regulations and to provide for registration of providers of temporary farriery services so that the Farriers Registration Council can regulate them.

Concerns were raised during the consultation exercise that the directive's provisions, as concerns the freedom to provide services on a temporary and occasional basis, undermine the standards of farriery in the UK and threaten animal welfare. However, the provisions that determine whether a farrier from another EU member state is eligible to provide temporary services are covered by the DIUS regulations. DIUS consulted with the Farriers Registration Council on these regulations.

Regarding the Farriers Qualifications (European Recognition) Regulations, some concern was expressed about the value of registering temporary services providers because it was thought they could escape disciplinary proceedings in this country by returning to their home country or another EU country. However, the directive imposes an obligation on competent authorities to exchange information about disciplinary action taken with each other which provides a safeguard against this. The Farriers Registration Council agreed that registration of temporary providers of farriery was the most appropriate way of managing them.

In response to concerns raised, Defra explained that anything that stems from the wording of the directive is not amenable to mitigation, and cannot be changed. We also explained that the UK must transpose the directive in a way which is compatible with principles of EU law as derived from the treaty and case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

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David Wright
Posted on 16 May 2008 10:10 am (Report this annotation)

In other words, the EU dictates and we obey, following an irrelevant 'consultation' exercise.