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Horse Riders Unite!

Horse riders across the UK are joining together to urge the Government to think again about imposing an unfair "tax in all but name" on every horse owner in the UK.

Equine World reports: The "Rethink the Horse Tax" campaign, launched by a coalition of organisations representing a broad cross section of the UK horse industry, is calling on riders, breeders and veterinarians to make their voices heard by visiting a new campaign website – www.RethinktheHorseTax.org – and take action by writing to their constituency MPs and by signing an online petition to the Prime Minister.

Campaigners are further concerned that plans to create a new agency will place mounting costs on horse owners at a time when Government support is needed to help boost rural economies and encourage wider participation in outdoor sport.

Under the plans, horse owners would be charged on the same basis as keepers of livestock farm animals such as sheep and pigs – despite the fact that a significant proportion of horses are kept for leisure and sporting, rather than commercial activities, paid for from of income that is already taxed.

With costs of £14.3m to set up and millions more to maintain the new body in the coming years, campaigners have made it clear that the proposals do not represent value for money for either the equine community or the taxpayer.