Ford Repair Questions? Ask a Mechanic for Answers ASAP
As far as I can tell it is factory installed.
That must be aftermarket shield, I have never seen such a thing from factory. The easiest solution is a dye grinder or cut off wheel. There is not much on a car that can not be cut thru with one. If the car is still running, take it by the ford dealership, go around back with a 12 pack, I'm pretty sure you could get a tech to cut it off for you.
Can you post a picture of this thing? [you would use the tree icon]