Barriers to successful farriery interventions for equine welfare in India

Farriery is important for maintaining equine (horse, mule, donkey) foot health, but is often poorly-executed in low and middle-income countries like India. It is important to understand the challenges in providing farriery services if external agencies want to improve them. This study, undertaken in North India, started to build this understanding by collecting information from farriers' points of view. Through focus group discussion, it became clear that farriery in this area was very demand-led: farriers found it difficult to practice improved techniques if animal owners were not prepared, or unable, to pay for the extra time that this takes. This was linked to the self-perceived status of farriers within the community: those with higher status (often due to having additional income streams) were more confident in their interactions with animal owners. Difficulties associated with demand were closely linked to the external environment: farriers whose work relied on the local brick kilns had been significantly affected by a recent down-turn in that industry. Training and technical knowledge varied; training was more popular when it was inclusive and addressed the questions farriers had about their work. Understanding this system from the perspective of the stakeholders within it is essential for successful improvement programmes.

Mohite, D.S.; Sheikh, C.S.; Singh, S.; Kalita, J.; Williams, S.; Compston, P.C. Using Qualitative Methods to Explore Farrier-Related Barriers to Successful Farriery Interventions for Equine Welfare in India. Animals 2019, 9, 252

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