AR-NewsLivestock "fart tax" in New Zealand

Pat Wolff wolffnm at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 20 22:27:41 EDT 2003


Animal 'fart tax' puts wind up New Zealand farmers
June 20, 2003

AUCKLAND (AFP) - A tax on farting, belching livestock
to be introduced by New Zealand to help combat global
warming is creating a stink among the country's
farmers. 

Methane emissions created by grass-munching cows,
sheep, deer and goats are believed to account for
about half of New Zealand's emissions of greenhouse
gases. 

Now the country is attempting to clear the air by
introducing a levy on pungent emissions by mid-2004. 

The tax will fund a new Agriculture Emissions Research
body to meet commitments to the Kyoto Protocol global
environment agreement. 

But farmers are outraged, saying the agricultural
sector is already paying for its own research. 

The new tax, which will bring in around eight million
NZ dollars a year (4.5 million US) amounted to
"overkill", said Jeff Grant, chairman of Meat New
Zealand, a livestock industry support organisation. 

Tom Lambie, president of agricultural body Federated
Farmers, said the levy disadvantaged farmers
struggling to compete against less gas-anxious
nations. 

"As far as I'm aware, we're the only country in the
world to impose a levy like this," he said. 

Jim Eagles, business editor of the New Zealnd Herald
daily called the levy "unnecessary, unfair and
potentially damaging to the economy." 

New Zealand's farmers are already facing hard times
due to a sharp downturn in returns for their produce. 

Eagle said factories from industrialised nations, not
herds of cattle and sheep, were the main cause behind
the increase in global warming, he said. 

New Zealand is home to around 45 million sheep and 9.6
million cattle, according to Statistics New Zealand. 






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