§ Lord Harrison
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What are their plans to expand the equine industry in Britain to boost the rural economy. [HL829]
§ The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman)
The Government recognise the major contribution which the equine industry makes in generating economic activity in the countryside. Although the scope for expansion may be limited in some sectors of the industry, there are likely to be significant opportunities in particular areas such as the breeding of high performance horses. Steps have been taken to facilitate diversification into horse enterprise on farms, and the horse sector can benefit from measures operated under the England Rural Development Programme, for which funding of £1.6 billion has been provided over seven years. The Government's policies for rural development were set out fully in the Rural White Paper in November 2000 and many of these will benefit, directly or indirectly, the equine industry and horse users.