What a load of ******!!

May 17 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

The UK government's latest piece of regulation on business is causing a bit of a stink among owners of equine businesses.

Under the regulations introduced by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) equestrian businesses, such as stables and riding schools, which compost muck to use as fertiliser will have to obtain a permit costing up to £500.

Furthermore, anyone wanting to make compost from their own horse dung will need to have installed leak-proof concrete flooring beneath the muck heaps with a sealed holding tank for the liquid which runs off - all at a cost which could run into thousands of pounds.

The reaction of Keith Sanders, Manager of the Northcote Heavy Horse Centre in Lincolnshire, was typical:

"Who on earth thinks of taxing horse muck? It's an absolute farce. I'll be the first to take a lorry load of dung to Downing Street to make my point.

"This could cost me thousands, and yet I have had no visit from a Government inspector asking how it will affect me," he added. "But no doubt the legislation will create more bureaucracy and bureaucrats.

"But whoever thought of this legislation does not know their dung. Horse muck is not as wet as pig or cow dung because it is about 60 per cent straw, so there is no need to go to the hugely expensive lengths of building new concrete floors. This will cripple many horse businesses who are already struggling with the taxation burden."