Germany, known for dishes such as bratwurst, eisbein and schnitzel, may soon see the implementation of a meat tax in an effort to curb carbon emissions and improve animal welfare.
Early in August, politicians from the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Greens proposed raising the value-added tax (VAT) on meat to 19%. Meat is currently taxed at a reduced rate of 7%.
“I am in favor of abolishing the VAT reduction for meat and earmarking it for more animal welfare,” said Friedrich Ostendorf, agricultural policy spokesperson for the Greens. SPD Member of Parliament Rainer Spieging added: “a meat tax, such as increasing the VAT to 19%, could be a way forward.”
The extra funds raised would be used to support animal welfare in the country, should the proposal be passed. This could have a significant impact on the meat industry, having been under increased scrutiny for its treatment of livestock.
According to EcoWatch, the Christian Democrats agriculture spokesperson, Albert Stegemann, will consider the plans under the condition that: “Such a tax can be a constructive proposal,” he said, and continued: “However, the additional tax revenue should be used to support livestock farmers to help them restructure.”
Many people are still unaware that the meat industry is one of the highest producers of C02. The proposed bill will no doubt create more awareness with consumers in Germany and plant-based diets, including vegetarianism and veganism, will continue to grow in popularity around the globe.
Science has proved that climate change is a very real and dangerous threat and reducing the demand and production of meat will certainly help lower emissions but would implementing a meat tax to improve animal welfare and helping livestock farmers to restructure do the same?