Research and Development Levy

Thoroughbred Breeders Australia successfully lobbied the Australian Government to introduce a matched thoroughbred research and development levy.

This levy started in breeding season 2017 and will lead to about $400,000 being raised from breeders each year, which will then be matched dollar for dollar by the Australian Government. In addition, Thoroughbred Breeders Australia and Racing Australia have made contributions to the pool of funding.

This ongoing levy will allow breeders to commission research that safeguards the long-term future of our industry. We will be able to invest in projects that make a significant difference in areas such as the prevention and management of exotic and indigenous diseases; raising the conception rates of mares and stallions; improving foal health; as well as research into welfare, injury rates and industry modelling.

The levy is set at a rate of $10 per mare covered per season, paid by the stallion owner and $10 per mare returned per season, paid by the broodmare owner. These payments will be made through the Australian Stud Book beginning in breeding season 2017.  Additional voluntary contributions will compliment levies collected and be available for research investment.

TBA president Basil Nolan says breeders will see the Federal Government matched levy as a vital resource.

“Having almost $1 million to spend on research year after year on breeding will be very valuable. It gives our industry certainty and means we can develop research projects that will bring real benefits to all breeders,” he said.

“Up till now spending on research has been sporadic and we’ve not been able to plan as a nationwide industry.”

The levy funds and projects are managed through the Australian Government’s agricultureal research & development agency, Agrifutures Australia (formerly RIRDC).

An advisory panel has been appointed to determine where the fund will be best directed to in terms of delivering on the objectives of the levy.

The advisory panel is chaired by Professor Nigel Perkins from the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland. He is recognised nationally and internationally as a leader in the field of veterinary epidemiology.

The full list of panel members is:

  • Professor Nigel Perkins (School of Veterinary Science at the University of Queensland) – Chairman
  • Jacqueline Stewart, (Keeper of the Australian Stud Book)
  • Dr Catherine Chicken (consultant to the Scone Equine Hospital on pathology and infectious disease)
  • Dr Judith Medd (Racing and Wagering Western Australia Industry Veterinarian)
  • Derek Field (Widden Stud General Manager)
  • Tas Rielley (owner/operator of Basinghall Broodmare Farm at Nagambie).

In early 2018, Agrifutures Australia relased the first Five Year Plan for the Thoroughbred RD&E Program. A copy of that plan is available by clicking here.

Agrifutures Australia made an inaugural call for research projects in January 2018. Click here for details.

Full details of the levy can be found on the Agrifutures Australia website.