Horse levy legislation passed

The Horse Disease Response Levy Bills have recently been passed by the Senate.  Following the formal signing of the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA) on 3 March 2011, this final step establishes the necessary cost recovery mechanism that would enable the horse industry to collect its share of the costs for a response.

The inclusion of the horse industry in Australia’s national emergency disease response arrangements has been proposed for the past decade, and this milestone is the culmination of the efforts of many individuals and organisations over that period.

Animal Health Australia would like to acknowledge those efforts and express appreciation to the many people in the horse-owning community and government agencies who have contributed to this achievement.  In his speech in support of the Bills, Senator Chris Back kindly acknowledged the contribution from AHA, but more importantly, emphasised the outstanding achievement of all sectors of the horse industry in working together for this common good.

Bringing together such a diverse community, to discuss and agree on acceptable levy options was no mean feat.  Nationally, there were many organisations and individuals who contributed many hours of their time. Thanks to these contributions, the horse industry, and horse-owning community at large, now has the assurance of government assistance in the event of an outbreak.

The levy is set at zero, which means horse owners will not pay anything until after an emergency  response is completed. Hopefully, it will never be required.

Mike Bond, CEO

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