The Worshipful
Company of Farriers

Promoting the welfare of the horse since 1356

Covid-19: Direction and advice to Equine Owners and to Registered Farriers in Great Britain, and Equine Owners and Farriers in Northern Ireland

Following the announcement by the Prime Minister on Saturday 19 December 2020 of the re-imposition of enhanced restrictions and establishment of a Tier 4 across parts of England from 20 December 2020 to combat the spread of the Coronavirus, and updated advice issued by the Devolved Governments, the FRC has consulted widely in updating its direction and advice to Registered Farriers in Great Britain. The advice is endorsed by Defra, the Veterinary Head of Animal Welfare in the Scottish Government and the Chief Veterinary Advisor in the Welsh Government. While farriery in Northern Ireland sits outwith the jurisdiction of the FRC this advice has been endorsed as ‘recommended practice’ by the Chief Veterinary Officer for Northern Ireland. The direction and advice is in respect of the delivery of Farriery services (trimming and shoeing) to equines. 

It is agreed that the FRC interpretation of the Government’s latest direction and guidance is that “Registered Farriers throughout GB should, with immediate effect, prioritise the delivery of farriery services to equines with welfare needs. Where Equines are at risk of becoming welfare cases Registered Farriers should liaise with equine owners in respect of individual cases” and with the following provisos:

Any Registered Farrier showing the symptoms of coronavirus should immediately follow the NHS guidance on Covid-19 at and must not practise farriery under any circumstances. 

Registered Farriers are to rigorously comply with the following: 
Wash Hands: Wash their hands thoroughly and often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, and between every consultation; clean their tools and equipment between every consultation.
Cover Face: Cover their face in enclosed spaces including, where appropriate, at consultations. Where Registered Farriers use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including face masks, this should be disposed of in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions and otherwise responsibly.
Make Space: Keep at least 2m apart from all other persons, or 1m if wearing a face mask while at consultations and at all other times. 

If challenged by the Police or other law enforcement agency in GB Registered Farriers should present their registration card and draw attention to this notice; Registered Farriers are reminded to ensure their registration is renewed before 31 December 2020.  Where necessary Police Officers or other Law Enforcement Agencies in GB should be asked to contact the Farriers Registration Council.

Equine owners and Registered Farriers should be aware that English Regions/Counties, Devolved Governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (at have separate rules and restrictions in place, and those living or working in those regions or countries must be aware of that local guidance. Details of the restrictions and local alert levels may be found in the relevant links provided.
Equine owners are advised to make appointments with Registered Farriers to meet the needs of their equines; when making appointments equine owners should declare any equine welfare concerns, and – given current circumstances – equine owners are asked to be patient when seeking appointments.
Equine owners and farriers are asked to note that this updated advice is interim and may need to be adjusted in future in light of events relating to the Coronavirus pandemic. Please regularly check back to the FRC website and the Covid-19 page on at

Latest Government Guidance on Covid-19 guidance and support, as at 21 December 2020, may be found at Latest Government Guidance