The Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has released the Horse Disease Response Levy Review consultation report, following public consultation with horse industry stakeholders on the existing horse levy for emergency disease responses.
The horse disease response levy is the mechanism for the industry to contribute to the cost of responding to an emergency animal disease affecting horses, the cost of which is shared by the Commonwealth, State, and Territory Governments, and industry under the Emergency Animal Disease Response Agreement (EADRA).
Head of the Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resource’s Biosecurity Policy and Implementation Division, Matt Koval, said the nil-rated levy is reviewed every five years to determine whether the current levy arrangements continue to be the most appropriate.
“Under the current arrangements, the levy would be placed on manufactured feed and worm treatments in the event of a disease affecting horses,” Mr Koval said.
“This agreement is there to give the horse industry confidence that the resources and finances will be available, should an emergency disease in horses reach our shores.
“Under the EADRA, the Commonwealth can step in and contribute industry’s share of the response upfront, with the costs then recovered through the horse disease response levy.
“This ensures a biosecurity incursion can be dealt with as quickly as possible.
“The horse disease response levy is only payable when there is a response under the EADRA underway, and is removed once costs have been recovered.
“Back in 2011, following extensive consultation on an equitable way of recovering costs, the horse industry decided the levy would be best applied to worm treatments and manufactured feed.
“This was considered to be the most equitable option available, providing the broadest coverage.
“This review sought the views of key stakeholders on the current arrangements.
“Stakeholders were asked if they supported the current levy collection points and were able to propose alternatives.
“The Federal Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is considering the report, and is in discussions with key industry stakeholders and working with industry on the findings of the review.
“A decision will be made about future arrangements following consideration of the review findings that were identified during the consultation.”
The horse levy review position paper and more information is available at agriculture.gov.au/horselevyreview.