Plans for a “horse tax” were due to be mentioned in the Queen’s Speech at the State Opening of Parliament today.
The government aims to publish a draft Animal Health Bill in January, outlining its plans for a new independent body for animal health in England.
The new body would be responsible for animal health but not welfare and a levy would be raised on each farm animal, and possibly horse, in the UK to help fund it.
There is a strong lobby against the plan from the horse industry which has launched a petition calling on the government to Rethink the Horse Tax.
British Horseracing Authority (BHA) veterinary expert and chairman of the British Horse Industry Confederation Professor Tim Morris has said: “The proposals are based on inaccurate data and flawed assumptions and represent an increase in costs for the equine sector where a significant proportion already fund their leisure activities out of taxed income.”
Defra’s plans will be open to consultation from the farming and equine industries before becoming law.
To sign the petition against horse tax go to www.rethinkthehorsetax.org