Using Qualitative Methods to Explore Farrier-Related Barriers to Successful Farriery Interventions for Equine Welfare in India

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

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Abstract

Farriery is a critical component of healthcare services for working equids. However, in India, an informal workforce, lack of structured training facilities and non-implementation of farriery regulations pose challenges for quality farriery. Brooke India, an equine welfare organisation, has undertaken many initiatives aiming to improve farriery services, including technical training and engagement with equid-owning communities. However, this has met with varying success. The study aimed to identify factors that prevent farriers providing quality farriery services. Focus-group discussions were conducted with farriers from two districts of Uttar Pradesh with varying programme outcomes. Within each area, farriers were grouped according to previous level of engagement with Brooke programmes. Demand for services, farrier status, the external environment and technical training and knowledge were identified as key elements that affected farriery work. These factors were very context specific: in areas where brick kilns provided the majority of customers, recent closures had resulted in an increase in those farriers’ feeling of insecurity. A systems approach to improving farriery services, taking these factors into account, is advised. Mentoring-based capacity building, which is closely aligned to farrier needs and expectations, is expected to have positive results in terms of technical skill and farrier engagement.

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