A new farrier certification which could help almost one million working equines in Senegal — and create jobs — has been described as a “significant milestone”.
Welfare charity Brooke, which is training 100 people in different regions in Senegal, is to launch an accredited certificate in farriery from 2020.
This comes as part of the charity’s global project aiming to raise the profile of farriery in low- and middle-income countries that lack training and tools, and it is hoped other countries will follow suit by providing communities with official routes to gaining qualifications.
Brooke West Africa programme manager Mactar Seck told H&H the country has one million working equines, and an unregulated system meant untrained blacksmiths and woodworkers were trimming and shoeing horses.
“They don’t have the knowledge or the skills so generally cause harm to the animal,” he said. “Before we started the project we assessed that more than 80% of the working equines were suffering from hoof abnormalities and infections.”
Mr Seck said the certificate, which is granted after a year’s training, will be integrated into a state-funded programme.
“We hope at the end of the process we will have certified farriers who can trim or shoe animals. The farrier sector was completely overlooked before and now it’s being taken into account by the minister of professional training and the minister of livestock, so it’a good achievement.
“Farriers are welcomed by owners because they can see the difference they can make so they are happy this training is going on.”
Brooke West Africa regional representative Emmanuel Bouré Sarr said the launch of the certificate was a “historic moment” for Senegal.
“A few years ago farriery was considered as ‘low work’, but thanks to Brooke it’s now becoming a full profession. I believe this will have a greatly positive effect on the lives of working equines in this country and create jobs for years to come,” he said.
David Buckton, immediate past master for the Worshipful Company of Farriers, who attended a presentation on the charity’s global farriery project, said: “Having the ministry of training recognise farriery in Senegal must be much like it was in 1356 when the first fellowship of farriers was established in London, starting a long legacy of craft farriery within the UK.
“I was very impressed to see the plans for the project, which will not only improve the welfare of working horses and donkeys but also inspire prospective farriers and be of great benefit to families who rely on these animals for a living. This is a significant milestone and may it be the first of further successes within global farriery.”
Farrier Fatou Toure, a former metal worker who undertook the training from Brooke and its partner the Senegalese Association for the Protection of Animals and the Environment, helps mentor new farriers and has supported the charity’s work creating the certification.
“The training has been very useful to me. What really gives me contentment are the horses from my neighbourhood who are brought to my house for trimming and the owners go back satisfied,” she said.
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