FLATULENCE TAX – A STEP TOO FAR?

Most governments around the world try to find different ways of increasing funds available to them by increasing existing taxes or creating new ones.

Some of these taxes are sometimes controversial and very unpopular, a recent example of this would be the ‘pasty tax’ in the UK.

The strangest I came across recently was the ‘Flatulence Tax’ which was first suggested by the New Zealand government in 2003. The idea being to tax all Cow & Sheep farmers to try to reduce Greenhouse gases to further comply with the Kyoto Protocol they had recently signed.

15% of all methane in the world comes from just four types of animals in Cows, Sheep, Goats & Deers both through flatulence and belching due to the complex stomachs in the animals.

Since 2003 both Ireland & Denmark have looked into the same tax with Ireland looking to tax farmers 13 euros per Cow per year and Denmark a whopping 80 euros per Cow per year.

If a farmer in Denmark owned 500 cows he could face a tax bill of 40,000 euros each year. This would surely lead to many farmers faced with very difficult decisions about continuing in the industry.

I wonder how long it will be before other governments try experimenting with this particular tax, or where the ‘flatulence tax’ will end? Who’s to say the tax would stop with farmers and could eventually reach pet owners, I myself own a Dalmatian who certainly produces her fair share of methane gas! But would pet owners be happy paying tax?

But with 1.4 billion Cows in the world each producing 500 litres of methane a day action does need to be taken but is taxing them the right way forward? Or could changing their diet be the answer? 

If only we could make Shreddies for animals then all the flatulence problems would be solved!