Thursday, September 04, 2008

Australia: Levy on horse owners moves step closer - Full Article

September 4, 2008

A plan to levy Australian horse owners for eradication efforts in any future disease outbreaks has passed its first parliamentary hurdle.

The legislation setting up the framework for the levy passed in the lower house yesterday and is bound for the Senate.

The amount of the levy remains unknown. It will be set in consultation with the horse industry.

The levy proposal was attacked by opposition MPs, who argued it was inequitable, with many unregistered horses unlikely to be subject to the levy. Opponents argued that the levy would place an unfair share of the responsibility on recreational horse owners.

The levy proposal is likely to go before a Senate committee.

The Australian Horse Industry Council said a decision to put the matter before a Senate committee would provide further opportunity for industry consultation on the merits of the current proposal.

But it added: "It might also further delay protection of the horse industry should there be an emergency disease outbreak while this examination process is under way."


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