Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

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Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby PNB » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:43 pm

All,

I open with a note to explain how and why three elected members of FRC arrived at a meeting with the Secretary of State for DEFRA, George Eustace.

The thee elected members of council felt they had became isolated from the debate on the proposed new Farriers Registration Amendment Bill and in real terms knew nothing about what was proposed.

Formal advice was sought and it was established we needed to make contact with our MPs.

The three elected members each wrote to their MPs, Councillor, Craig to Mrs Theresa May, MP Maidenhead. Councillor Gordon to Edward Timpson MP Crew and Nantwich. Councillor, Baker to Claire Perry MP Devizes, Wiltshire.

Councillor Baker’s draft letter is copied below.



Dear Sir,

I write about a serious matter to my craft. I am a working registered farrier presently employed shoeing horses in the UK. It is understood that our Registration Body (FRC) is attempting to get the Farriers Registration Act 1975 amended and the registration secretariat has and still are speaking to Mr Eustace, DEFRA regarding making this happen. There is considerable disquiet within my craft about this, the feeling being the actual working craft are not being fully included in these deliberations.

We have sought advice from both Lord Addington and Mr. Mathew Knight a farriery aware solicitor about how we can get our working craftsmen involved in the discussions between the FRC and the DEFRA Minister so as to ensure the new proposed legislation shoehorns the actual working craft needs, the welfare needs of the horse and any new legislation. There is great disquiet at present about how the FRC are approaching Farrier Regulation presently, to this end it is strongly felt UK working farrier craftsmen need to be involved at the formation stages of new legislation.

It is requested that a delegation of working craftsmen are invited to any further meetings between the Minister and FRC. Alternately a way which would be more satisfactory to us is maybe a post meeting discussion to hear the Working Farriers viewpoints prior to any new legislative being enacted.

Yours Faithfully,

Further correspondence will follow in the next few days.

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby PNB » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:12 am

BREIFING DOCUMENT DEFRA MEETING 12th October 2017.

Dear Sir,

A working farrier’s view on the proposed reform of the Farriers Registration Council.

1, The Farriers Registration Act was introduced in 1975 as a register of working craftsmen, giving them a Closed Shop to work as farriers in the UK. During the following 41 years a metamorphoses has taken place to lead into the description Regulation being used rather than Registration. The use of the word “Profession” taking over from the description “Craft” is introduced; a pretentious move, effecting the creation of a Blunt Instrument with which to beat hard working mainly Self-employed Craftsmen.

The Act was drafted as a convenient piece of Animal Welfare Legislation which allowed for an administrative body to be established “The Farriers Registration Council”. A young Entry/Persons Education system was put in place and applaudably so. The system developed to a point that a large amount of unneeded yet available government monies were released for young entry College Based Training. Money put in place seemingly to cast a shadow over young person’s unemployment being experienced in the UK at the time and support the move away from in school technology training, as is needed by potential farriers and towards academic achievement. The release of this money put great pressure on Farrier Employers, those who businesses could sustain young entry employment, to say nothing about the pressures placed upon the young entry employees, seeming leading to at least one suicide.

Over the next 40 or so years the above system within parameters worked acceptably.

2, In late 2013 a DEFRA consultation document was circulated and responded to, a medium it seems to adjudge the feeling in the street regarding the current suitability of the 1975 registration act to meet the needs of the 21st century Horse and its Horse Shoers.
Turning now to the consultation document, it contained several I feel terminal statements within it. Being that the conclusion of this document forms the basis of a proposed amendment of UK law. It is thus felt that these content in perfections errors then are highly important.
I will outline my concerns about these incorrect statements:-

a, The consultation questionnaire did not get into the view of working farrier craftsmen in 2013 evidenced by there being only 47 responders. Those that saw it were in the mainly closely related to The Worshipful Company [WCF), both its Freemen and its Livery Company. A check of responders will demonstrate a high input from the WCF. Further all membership of WCF are not fully flagged up by the responders list, as several are WCF members and are not declared as being so on the responders list. (NB, The WCF a London Dining Club, were heavily involved in the formation of the 1975 Farriers Registration Act and it is suggested the WCF created a niche for themselves and did and still do receive a revenue stream from the examination of apprentice farriers seeking entry onto the UK farriers register). Therefore, consultation responses made to DEFRA may slew DEFRA’s view of farrier registration/regulation.

Q 7. There is not a 50/50 mix of working farriers and lay persons serving on FRC, the ratio is 6 farriers to 10 lay persons, and in the last 20 years there has never been a 50/50 mix. Effectively the working craft are marginalised.

Q’s 7,8,9,10,11, 12, A remedy to the above outlined 50/50 imbalance could be to nominate two other bodies from the horse world to replace two existing lay members of FRC with working registered farriers.

a. Two suitable major players in the horse world which I suggest that in the future appoint to council spring to mind, Racing and Polo, both who employ and extensively need and use Farriers, are suggested.
b. The racing industry (Jockey Club/BHA) presently appoint to council (no problem there to appoint in future a registered farrier).
c. Then maybe an instruction that the Worshipful Company of Farriers in future to only nominate two members instead of the present three. This action would free up another place.
The Polo Industry which presently is big in the UK also has a central body (HPA) who could be approached to nominate one of its industry employed registered farriers to the Farriers Registration Council, which would allow for the other/another space within the present 16 memberships of FRC, neither actions would spill to much blood, and would create a 50/50 balance of farriers and lay members, (neither farriers to be WCF members).

Q19, 20,21, The resolution of this matter are regularly raised at council. At every stage the matter of article 6 has been raised, it is resisted by both the Registrar and WCF members, both of whom state FRC have gained a special dispensation (for want of a better explanation) for its IC and DC to continue to function from within its own membership. The expression “no man shall judge in his own cause”, on every occasion floods into my mind. Please remember every member of the FRC disciplinary processes receive a P 60 each year from FRC. Does this not demonstrate the possibility of a perception of BIAS within the FRC disciplinary processes, it does within this member of FRC mind, something as try as he can he cannot do anything about.

Q23, the problem here that due to the working craft not having a 50/50 mix on council the crafts view by council seem to be marginalised. (the personal view of PN Baker, Craft Elected Member FRC). Which would give WCF, together with the LAY members of FRC sway within FRC proceedings.

Sirs, I attach my pencil workings over a copy of the finalised Consultation Document, which may assist you further how I reached these conclusions. Otherwise please feel free to contact me at/as detailed below.

Yours Faithfully,



Peter N Baker, (Craft elected member of FRC).
pnbaker@tiscali.co.uk
01672540812
07879817175.

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby PNB » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:16 am

The above posting to be read with (The DEFRA consultation regarding the amendment of the farriers registration act.) GOGGLE.

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby PNB » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:22 pm

Farriers Registration Act 1975 Amendments Bill.

At 1.30 pm on Wednesday the 12th Of October 2016, a meeting took place with the Minister of DEFRA Mr George Eustice MP together with three of his staff, at Nobel House London. Three of the elected farrier representative Members of the Farrier’s Registration Council (FRC) Peter Baker, Stuart Craig and Paul Gordon, accompanied by Lord Addington (Member of the House of Lords) attended. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the amendment of the existing farrier’s registration act of 1975, its second reading is to be heard in the House of Commons on 14th January 2017.

Lord Addington opened the meeting by bringing to the attention of the Minister, that working farriers are not presently proportionately represented on the FRC. This had not been clearly stated in a stakeholder’s consultation document upon which the new bill had been constructed, which DEFRA would have seen from the pre-meeting briefing reports on the makeup of the council. The consultation report had stated that there is a 50/50 balance of farriers on the registration council but in reality, there are only 6 farriers on Council, (4 elected to members, 2 appointed from the British Farriers and Blacksmiths Association (BFBA)) out of a total full membership of 16. There being a strong influence within council from the body Worshipful Company of Farriers (WCF).

Lord Addington asked the Minster to make it a proportionate representation between the Profession/Working Craft of farriers and Appointed Lay Members on FRC. This would need to be 8 farrier members on council and 8 lay appointed members, in order to maintain a true and equal democratic balance within council. It was suggested the 8 farrier members would need to be elected. Craft elected working farriers should not be looking for control of Council, but simply an equality.

The Minster was then informed of the present makeup of the FRC council and that the Worshipful Company of Farriers have a strong controlling influence, by appointments which are constitutionally enforced by the present 1975 act which empowers the WCF to appoint the key players.
1, Compulsory appointment of chairman to farrier’s registration council,
2, Compulsory appointment of chairman to Investigation committee,
3, Compulsory appointment of chairman to finance committee,
4, Compulsory awarding body for examinations.
5, Furthermore, the WCF will soon replace 1st 4sport as the government funding agent for the apprenticeship, the fact that the worshipful company are a London livery company which only have 375 members, and only 10% of who are farriers, needs to be born in mind. http://www.wcf.org.uk/membership.php Having compulsory appointments to the senior offices gives the WCF a controlling role in the functioning of the FRC. When the chairman of the FRC is appointed by the WFC it is done solely and exclusively behind closed doors, seemingly in a secret ballot by the WCF inner chamber, something undertaken without consultation with the members of the FRC which seems to have created a monopoly, which is not democratically representational of the profession/craft they operate. When a more modern and impartial democratic process of appointment of chairman would be more in keeping with the modern farriery industry, (as it is on BOARDS of OTHER CORPORATE BODIES and within some other industries), either by an open democratic appointment, an election from the industry or even a chair selected by and from the 16 member board itself.
The Minister was then asked to consider that the present Act of 1975 was out of date and not fit for purpose to legislate for the farriery industry that is in place today. In 1975. 41 years ago, the formation date of the FRC, (N\B mobile phones, internet and the Email Web communication methods were at this age not available), communication then was only with the WCF and National Master Farriers, Blacksmiths and Agricultural Engineers (now BFBA), these two alone providing the structure to the farrier industry. Now in 2016, farriery is multi-faceted array of organisations and bodies, all of which have an important role to play in farriery politics but are not allowed to because of the outdated restrictions of the 1975 Act. Further section 6 of the European human rights act has been avoided. Furthermore the in house training body of the FRC, (National Farriers Training Agency (NFTA)) was closed down by OFSTED for failing to pass an OFSTED inspection, which resulted in all of the farrier training programme and grants for apprentice farriers to be transferred and run by the colleges Myerscough, Warwickshire and Herefordshire, who because of their now major and considerable role and input as a main training and welfare providers for the industry gives them real time feedback on farriery and farrier issues as they arise. The Amendment should allow them to have a voice on council.

The issue of appeals was also asked to be considered by the Minister. Presently the only course of an appeal for a farrier who has had a disciplinary sanction is to apply to the high court. An appeal to the high court costs tens of thousands of pounds, hence preventing farriers from appealing without the risk of financial ruin. This seems out dated, not proportionate or fair. Furthermore, a high proportion of working farriers who communicate with their elected members on council have lost confidence and respect in the FRC, feel that they are unnecessarily too heavily governed, that their views are to often played down when the elected members ask to be heard in council and their views are too often rejected by council. A reference example was asked for by The Minister, so the disclosure policy was referred too, this has been brought up in Council many times at the request of many induvial working farriers within the craft/profession, by the elected members of council but the farriers views were not considered relevant in implementing “The Policy of Disclosure” on them.

The Minister then presented a draft bill that would be put before the house on the 14th January 2017, he was surprised that none of us had seen the prepared bill, so we explained it was because we had not been made aware of its availability or even offered a copy.
The meeting was then drawn to a close, so we requested that The Minster consider all of the issues that had been raised with him, especially the proportional representation for the profession/craft by an accurate balance of 50/50 representation of 8 elected farriers on the 16-member council.
The Minister said he would take into consideration all of the issues that had been drawn to his attention and he would get back to us In due course, also that he may consider implementing an SI – (secondary legislation) www.parliament.uk/business/bills-and-le ... gislation/ which can allow changes to be made to an act/law at a later date. PJG.

Footnote :- PJG, expressed the wish that this report should be flagged/attributed as the product of the three working farrier who went to meeting with The Minister at DEFRA. PJG added his wish, “More importantly it should be from all the Farriers that we represent, THAT DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IS GOING ON. They have never been properly informed about the legislation that governs them”.
Signed, PJC, CSC, PNB.

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby Italian stallion » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:08 pm

Firstly, l would like to take this opportunity to thank you gentleman for your hard work considering your lack of information that has been withheld by the FRC/WCF, it blatantly goes to show farriers there failing in the welfare of the horse and farrier, they are outdated and out of touch with what is going on in the real world of farriers.

Regards,
E.W.

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby john ford » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:37 pm

After reading this report and especially the footnote from Paul Gordon, I would very much like to ask all three of you this question. If all the above is true, and your anxieties have been bought about because none of the registered farriers and in particular the farrier representatives on council have been involved or informed of these issues. Why are you stating that you are speaking on behalf of all the registered farriers in the country, when in fact you haven’t given out any information of this meeting or asked the 2800 farriers for their views on the subject? Two wrongs don’t make a right.

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby csc » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:20 am

John two wrongs don't make a right you are correct let me explain there are two groups within farriery .
group one get involved in the side lines and are told what's going on and accept what they are being told with the fear that loads of illegal farriers will take all there jobs away, the people who inform them also believe that this is the way forward. unfortunately very few in this group question things.
then there is another group that really don't give a shit about politics just want to go about there daily lives never do competitions go along maybe to the odd handmade event etc but hate FRC unanimously. again most don't want to get involved.
because John you are in the first group this is how you see things Paul Myself and Peter are your elected members if that's not ok stand next election.
elected members have a duty to represent the interests of the farriers
we asked for equal representation on council do you think that it is a big ask .we have been told for some time that this is impossible by group one, this is because it has never been asked. why? because those in power have complete control and do not want to have equality.

the 1975 act is a animal welfare act over the last two years no illegal farriery has been reported or prosecuted. however hundreds of farriers have as been reported in the bulitin either been warned or faced disciplinary for non payment and other minor things if you think that the registrar is correct in his actions I disagree with you.
regarding consultation we have talked with many farriers from group two who have supported our actions and we are also in contact with a dozen others that have written to there MPs to complain.
as I said John if you don't want equal representation vote us out the democratic way

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby john ford » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:40 pm

The 1975 Act, although initially was to protect the horse, it also was BECAUSE OF FARRIERS and NOT FOR FARRIERS. and after saying that just remember I am one of you as a farrier. The Jockey Club who controls horseracing is no way a 50/50 split between professional jockeys and others.
If there was a 50/50 split on the FRC, you could end up many times with the chairman having the casting vote, a chairman put in place by the same people you accuse of many on going problems, the WCF. I know we spoke at length this morning about this problem, and after some thoughts about the subject during today, I have this question to ask of you, and please be truthful in your reply: If the statement of a 50/50 representation on council had not been put forward to DEFRA, would you have had this meeting with the minister? The other question is: Having been left out of the secrete meeting with the FRC and DEFRA, did this prompt you to make your own meeting with the minister, to raise all the other issues that you have quoted above.
On the subject of putting forward myself as a representative next year on the FRC Council I will say this: I am no longer fit to be an ATF these days, as the bar has risen too high from the years I was one, I have no problem with that, and I am delighted to see some of (Not All) talented youngsters going through the present system and pushing up the skill levels. Democracy levels have also risen within the chambers of the FRC etc. And we need a higher level of academic farriers to represent us on the FRC, and again I am not one of those people.

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby john ford » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:52 pm

DELEGATION I meant NOT Democracy

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby Italian stallion » Tue Oct 25, 2016 4:53 pm

John,
Even you should surely tip your cap to these men for there efforts in brining this into the public domain.
Thee FRC are not keeping anyone in the loop even council members, they find it nessesery to decife anyone that might object in the interest of the working farrier.
The balance at meetings should be 50/50 this is called democracy regardless of who or what the chair does with there casting vote.
As far as your comment that higher level of academy farriers on council is something of an insult to the likes of me and Jim blurton ( Richard Elis DWCF ) he was an outstanding farrier in every way and was credited with helping Jim to a world title.
I'll add john put your self forward for coucil stand there and be counted like these three guys have done or just do the honrable thing and shut up.

P.S.
A seriously pissed of farrier.

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby john ford » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:07 pm

Sorry Italian stallion, I am afraid you like so many are missing my point. In no way am I putting you and the likes of Jim Blurton, Richard Ellis etc, down.
Once again, you like so many jump down the throats of others without either listening, or reading and understanding what is put in front of you. The vast majority of farriers are practical people, I am one of them and proud of it. The academic people of this world, may not even be able to use a hammer, let alone make or nail a shoe on. Yet both have their place in this wonderful world of ours. This is no different when discussing a lameness with a veterinary surgeon. Whilst the farrier can make and fit a shoe to the highest standard, the vet can cut the bloody leg off and sew the bloody thing back on. If the farrier knows every practical part of his subject, and is bright enough to accept and understand the vets theoretical part of the subject, automatically there will be instant respect between both parties, and being able to question and answer each persons point of view, the result is usually a positive one. The problem that is occurring at the FRC meetings is very much the same, a break down between the academic and the practical thinking person. An example of this I explained to a farrier recently. When one of the academics of the FRC was questioned by a farriers representative why a certain procedure couldn't be implemented, he got the answer that the FRCs solicitors stated that it couldn't be done for some reason or another. I said to the farrier if he had asked for proof in writing from their solicitors to be shown before all members of council, of which his reply was no. Now you may understand Italian stallion why the FRC continue you run rings around the elected representatives as they are not being challenged in the correct formal way. If the FRC had to provide signed official documents in the way I have just pointed out, at least our representatives could show these to another legal source, and could in some cases get a complete different answer, that could then start a proper respectable debate, with the FRC now knowing they have persons there they have sit up and listen to.

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby Italian stallion » Tue Oct 25, 2016 8:27 pm

John,
It makes no difference if you have a degree or you happen to be a rocket scientist, if relevant information is withheld from members of council how does one debate anything, you for one know all to well that FRC are famous for there pre-debates and the outcome is as they expected always in there interests.

Luckily for us working farriers peter/Paul/Stuart had the sense to relize that we farriers were excluded in any debate with government, so in that respect wrote to there own MP and were then invited to a meeting with a minister that has taken the time to listen, something FRC find somewhat difficult considering you think they are much more academically brighter than us mere working farriers, you see john it matters not how clever one thinks they are it will come and bite you on the arse if you don't listen to people.

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby csc » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:32 am

with regard tom 50/50 representation, I accept your point and 50 % representation may or may not be enough.
after being frozen out of any Defra consultation i complained to my MP along with many others ,through this we had the opportunity to meet the minister,
as with the previous meeting with the wcf and the minister, the time and date is only given a few days before although many people were informed including BFBA and the registrar we were unable to inform everyone .

john your input and questions are always important to us as are your views as a working farrier as are yours Italian stallion if members of council are not party to information or interaction then its not open and transparent and certainly not democratic,

I hope you all recognise the fact that Peter has posted a honest account of our actions

now John please could you point out to me where the Defra/WCF/BFBA meeting as described in the bulletin or the forge magazine has given you any information regarding the amendment and what it entails or where the draft copy has been published

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby john ford » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:03 pm

Your Quote CSC: now John please could you point out to me where the Defra/WCF/BFBA meeting as described in the bulletin or the forge magazine has given you any information regarding the amendment and what it entails or where the draft copy has been published.
I think I can understand where you are coming from with this one Stuart. I am not surprised for not seeing anything to do with this meeting, as it was not open to the public, therefore it was a matter being dealt with IN HOUSE so to speak. With all things to do with certain organisations like the FRC, WCF DEFRA etc, there will always be leeks of information to those nosey interested bastards like me and a few others. It may be a different matter all together, but with the Steering Group and other parties working on the new apprenticeship scheme, the very few meetings and small amount of information being given out to general farriers and ATFs is just chicken feed compared to the masses of private IN HOUSE meetings behind closed doors, with all the different departments involved, yet non of the main people who will be affected by this are not kept up to date with information on a week to week or month to month basis. Surely you must have been aware of this situation at the ATF meeting at Stoneleigh, that meeting was a farce, because they had gone ahead without listening to ALL ATFs views. I'm afraid no matter how you dress it up, or how unjust you three representatives feel the way things are going, you must appreciate that a good 75% of registered farriers couldn't care a jot at what's happening within the FRC and other organisations concerning the farriery industry, just as long as it doesn't affect them and their business. As I said earlier to you, being involved and very interested with these organisations over many years, I have witnessed many bad eggs in the basket running certain departments, and causing no end of trouble/stress, with stupid rules and regulations, yet a year or so goes by and they are either sacked or move on, for things to take another change for better or worse. Come to think of it, this reminds me of seeing how the political system of our country has been running for hundreds of years?

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby csc » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:51 am

I have tried to download the defra bill but have been unable to do it
if anyone feels that farriers should have 50/50 representation on council please could you write to your MP and explain that there are only 4 members on a council of 16 plus two who are appointed

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby PNB » Sat Oct 29, 2016 12:52 pm

CSC posted previously.

Yesterday, 12th Oct 2016, three elected members of council visited the DEFRA offices to speak with Mr Eustace enquiring about the farriers bill, at this point I would like to explain that the farrier members of council were frozen out of the WCF meeting as reported in the forge magazine and deceived about the date and time being told it had been cancelled.

We will be producing our report for everyone to see as soon as it has been proofed hopefully the back end of this weekend as we do believe in openness and transparency.

Since then it has emerged a lot of premlinary work had been taking place, something that the three Farrier members of FRC were unaware about!!

Opening posting by CSC is copied from previous thread FYI.

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Re: Preamble to meeting with minister at DEFRA.

Postby PNB » Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:28 pm

See the proposed changes to the FARRIERS REGISTRATION BILL, in the top posting 31/10/16. Posted by admin.

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