The British Horse Society
today (Thursday, 12 May) welcomed Defra's clarification on the new Horse Waste Management regulations.
The BHS intervened
last month when the threat from the new Regulations became clear, and expressed its deep concern that Defra had not consulted
the Society in 2003 when the rules were drafted.
Many horse owners - and particularly the owners of riding and livery
establishments - were concerned about the Regulations which, at first sight, appeared to represent a new tax on equestrianism.
BHS's Chief Executive Graham Cory said "The BHS has been in constant discussion with Defra, both to get clarity on what the
Regulations really mean for horse owners, and also to ensure that new burdens were not heaped on an already heavily pressed
sector of the economy.
"We are pleased that Defra has now provided clarification on the implications of the Regulations.
The key points appear to be that the new Regulations apply only to businesses, not individual horse owners; the storage of
waste pending collection will not entail a charge; but collecting and storing waste for the purpose of producing compost may
attract a charge. "
Mr Cory added "It appears - and we are checking this with Defra - that there must be an intention
to turn the waste, by appropriate management, into compost for commercial purposes. Simply stacking up waste in a way
that will inevitably lead to biodegrading, i.e. composting, will not amount to composting for the purposes of the Regulations.
have recently heard from a riding school proprietor that the farmer who currently removes horse waste from the riding school
will no longer do so because he believes the Regulations will prevent him from doing so. We are actively pursuing this
point with Defra, too."