Thoroughbred breeders are being encouraged to attend levy seminars scheduled across Australia in May and June this year, at which a proposed statutory R&D levy will be presented for discussion.
Thoroughbred Breeders Australia (TBA) President Trevor Lobb said Research & Development levy information kits will be posted next week to all 8,500 registered members of the TBA and state breeding association for their consideration and input.
In summary TBA is proposing:
1. A charge of $10 per mare covered per season and paid by the stallion owner, and;
2. A charge of $10 per mare returned per season and paid by the broodmare owner.
“For many years now, the Australian thoroughbred industry has been reliant upon an ad-hoc arrangement of government funding and voluntary contributions from industry bodies and individuals, in order to undertake essential research work on behalf of the whole industry,” Lobb said.
“The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) has been the major contributor to the Horse RD&E Program since its inception in 1995. However, from 1 July 2013 RIRDC can no longer match dollar-for-dollar current horse industry voluntary contributions of which 80% has come from the thoroughbred sector.
“Prior attempts to introduce an equitable statutory levy, whereby owners from all horse sectors contribute, have failed. We remain one of the few primary industries of significance that does not yet have a statutory levy to fund essential RD&E projects.
“Industry must now develop a more secure and sustainable funding base, and a statutory levy paid by all registered thoroughbred breeders is the most equitable way of sharing the costs and benefits of such work particularly as the Australian Government will only match industry’s contribution dollar-for-dollar if a statutory levy is supported by thoroughbred breeders.
“All thoroughbred breeders should read the discussion paper provided in the levy information kit and if possible attend one of the regional levy seminars scheduled across Australia in May and June this year,” Lobb continued.
“If approved, the statutory levy will raise more than $400,000 annually from breeder contributions, which will be payable by all thoroughbred stallion and broodmare owners and will be compulsorily collected by the Australian Stud Book on all registered broodmare returns and coverings commencing 1 August 2014, or a date to be determined by the Minister.
“We strongly urge industry to support the proposal, as it is practical, feasible and affordable for breeders across all levels. The success of the thoroughbred industry in Australia depends heavily on research and development.”
Further information and regular updates on the Thoroughbred R&D Levy proposal, the regional seminar schedule and levy ballot arrangements are also available on the TBA website: www.tbaus.com