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AengusOg

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.I got this email a few moments ago...

Petition to:
rethink the Government’s plans to place an additional charge on horse owners in order to pay for a new animal health body.
This petition is now closed, as its deadline has passed.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to rethink the Government’s plans to place an additional charge on horse owners in order to pay for a new animal health body, on the grounds that any such move would complicate the process of responding to animal disease outbreaks without offering clear benefits to those who breed, ride and care for horses or delivering value for money to taxpayers. We call on the Government to work with all sections of the equine community – including owners, breeders and equine veterinarians – to find a fair alternative solution to managing animal disease. More details

Submitted by Jonathan Ware of British Horse Industry Confederation – Deadline to sign up by: 06 June 2010 – Signatures: 12,911

More details from petition creator
The Government’s plans would impose an unfair and arbitrary financial burden on the horse community. At a time when the Government should be supporting rural economies and encouraging wider participation in outdoor sport, imposing an annual charge for each horse will have a negative impact on the estimated 4.3m people who enjoy horse riding ever year and up to 270,000 people employed by the equine sector in the UK. If implemented, horse owners whose animals are involved in entirely non-commercial, sporting or not-for-profit activities will be charged alongside owners of commercial farm livestock animals, yet whilst the latter receive large-scale public funding from sources such as Regional Development Grants, most horse owners receive no comparable subsidy. Separating responsibility for animal health from animal welfare will create unnecessary complexity. From a practical and veterinary viewpoint the two are inextricably linked. Finally, the proposed new Government body represents poor value for money for the taxpayer, costing an estimated administrative cost of £2.3m to set up and maintain in order to collect a total of just £4.5m.

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/Horse-Rethink/

Government response
Concerns have been raised by horse owners and the horse industry about the previous Government’s proposals on Responsibility and Cost Sharing (RCS), particularly the establishment of an independent body for animal health. The previous Government’s proposals will not be taken forward by the Coalition Government.

The Coalition Government is committed to investigating ways to share with livestock keepers the responsibility of preparing for and dealing with outbreaks of animal disease. Jim Paice, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food, met Rosemary Radcliffe, the independent Chair of the RCS Advisory Group, of which Tim Morris of the British Horse Industry Confederation is a member, earlier this month. The Advisory Group will report their findings to Ministers in December 2010. The Coalition Government will draw closely upon the Group’s advice in developing a new approach to RCS.
 
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