Illegal Farriery

Under Section 16 of the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 it is an offence for unregistered persons to carry out farriery. Farriery is defined in the Act as “any work in connection with the preparation of the foot of a horse the immediate reception of a shoe, the fitting by nailing or otherwise of a shoe to the foot, or the finishing off of such work to the foot”.

There is no definition of the word ‘shoe’ in the Farriers (Registration) Act 1975 but it is the Council’s view that the term refers to the purpose of a shoe and therefore includes conventional metal shoes and also non-metallic solutions, which may include, amongst others, glue-on plastic shoes or hoof wraps.

Illegal farriery is a criminal offence which can result in a fine of up to £1000, legal costs and a criminal record.

By using an unregistered person a horse owner may be risking the welfare of their animal, may invalidate any insurance if their horse is lamed or injured, and may be aiding and abetting criminal activity.

In order to bring a prosecution it is always necessary to have a witness statement made either by a Registered Farrier, a member of the public or a Council investigator. The Council investigates all allegations of illegal farriery activity where sufficient information is available.

If you have any information regarding any alleged illegal farriery activity you are requested to report it to the Council. It may not be possible to take out a prosecution on your report alone, but your information may help to build a fuller picture regarding a suspect and assist an investigation. 

If you have any information regarding illegal farriery activity please contact the Farriers Registration Council by any of the following means:

·        Telephone on 01733 319911

·        E-mail to

·        Submit information using the Illegal Farriery Report Form below

Alternatively, you are free to make your own complaint to the police.