‘RETHINK THE HORSE TAX’ GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGN
PLMR’s work on the “Rethink the Horse Tax” campaign, launched in August 2009, provides a case study for our approach to an important animal welfare issue on behalf of the equine industry.
In March 2009 the Labour Government unveiled “Responsibility and Cost Sharing” proposals to manage and prevent animal diseases which would place a new “tax in all but name” on horse owners and create an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy.
The Rethink the Horse Tax campaign involved engaging Government on many levels including an initial response to the proposals, motivating grassroots opposition via an online petition, holding discussions with key civil servants, and liaising with policy makers across the political spectrum.
The horse tax proposals were scrapped in May 2010 – success! Further to this though, PLMR worked with the equine industry to make a significant contribution to the development of a new policy approach on this issue, with the recommendations of the Responsibility and Cost Sharing Advisory Group (published in December 2010) closely reflecting equine sector thinking.
- Grassroots campaigning: A recognisable campaign website was set up – www.RethinktheHorseTax.org enabling campaign supporters to: Download and customise a template letter to their MP. Sign a new e-Petition on the No.10 website. This petition attracted 12,911 signatures and received a formal response from the Government.
- Media push: The Rethink the Horse Tax campaign was covered by a number of media outlets including The Daily Mail, The Times, The Racing Post, Horse and Hound and BBC Breakfast News.
- Engagement with Ministers: The campaign saw senior representatives from the equine sector meeting with Ministers at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
For more information, visit the Rethink the Horse Tax website.