Major Hiccup: Farmers Outraged at Being Forced to Pay for Burping Livestock

A new law in Denmark has caused outrage in the wider farming community. Here are the full details.

Taxing Livestock

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Dusan Petkovic

Denmark has become the first nation in the world to announce a tax on the greenhouse gas emissions of livestock. 

Cows, Pigs, and Sheep Footing the Climate Bill

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Pickadook

Yes, you read that right – cows, pigs, and sheep will soon be paying their dues for their contributions to climate change. Technically, their owners will be footing the bill – but you get the idea.

Agricultural Uproar Over New Tax

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ysbrand Cosijn

This new law is set to take effect in 2030 and has caused an uproar in the agricultural community. 

Minister Bruus Explains Denmark’s Climate Goals

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Salivanchuk Semen

Denmark’s Taxation Minister Jeppe Bruus explained that this measure will push Denmark towards its goal of slashing greenhouse gas emissions by a massive 70% from 1990 levels by 2030. 

A First in Agricultural History

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Worawee Meepian

“With the agreement, we will reach our climate goals in 2030 and we will take a big step closer to becoming climate neutral in 2045. We will be the first country in the world to introduce a real carbon tax on agriculture. Other countries will be inspired by it,” Bruus announced.

Numbers Behind the Livestock Tax

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Natee Meepian

But let’s talk numbers. Danish farmers will be expected to cough up 300 kroner (about $43) per ton of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2030. Then, by 2035, that figure will skyrocket to 750 kroner ($108) per ton. 

Tax Breaks for Farmers

Image Credit: Pexels / Any Lane

Thankfully for farmers, there’s a small silver lining. Due to a 60% income tax deduction, the actual cost will start in 2030 at a more affordable 120 kroner ($17.3) per ton, gradually increasing to 300 kroner by 2035.

Scratching Your Head Over Livestock Taxes?

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Andrii Zastrozhnov

This news might have you scratching your head – after all, a tax on gassy livestock isn’t something you hear every day. But it turns out that methane – the primary gas emitted by livestock – is a massive contributor to climate change. 

Methane: More Potent Than CO2

Image Credit: Shutterstock / NicoElNino

According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this gas traps about 87 times more heat than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. 

Climate Culprits

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Anna Storozhko

One of the main culprits behind the production of methane is farmyard animals – cattle, pigs, and sheep.

UN’s Eye-Opening Statistics on Livestock

Image Credit: Shutterstock / A_stockphoto

The United Nations Environment Program reports that livestock are responsible for a huge 32% of human-caused methane emissions. 

The Digestive Process 

Image Credit: Pexels / melle

Almost 90% of this methane comes from the animals’ digestive process, which is released as burps – with cows being the biggest contributors. 

Another Methane Source

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Manop Boonpeng

The remaining 10% comes from pig and cow manure lagoons – large, human-made ponds used to collect and store animal waste from farms until it can be properly processed or disposed of.

Danish Livestock Numbers

Image Credit: Shutterstock / lovelyday12

To put things in perspective, a typical Danish cow produces about 6 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year, and as of June 30, 2022, Denmark had 1,484,377 cows. With Denmark being a major dairy and pork exporter, that’s a lot of potential tax revenue – and a lot of potential financial burden for farmers.

New Zealand’s Livestock Tax

Image Credit: Shutterstock / PIC SNIPE

This law is a landmark – the first of its kind. The closest another country has gotten to taxing livestock emissions was a New Zealand law that would have been implemented in 2025. 

A Short-Lived Similar Effort

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jirapong Manustrong

However, after facing a barrage of criticism from farmers and a change in government, last week New Zealand announced it wouldn’t go through with the tax and would look at other ways to reduce methane.

Controversy Brews Over Agricultural Regulations

Image Credit: Shutterstock / gurb101088

This move is definitely a controversial one. Farmers across Europe have been protesting against climate change mitigation measures, arguing that such regulations are pushing them towards bankruptcy. 

Traffic Jams and Farmer Protests

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Slava Dumchev

Protesting farmers have caused major traffic jams in European capitals multiple times this year – sometimes violently – leading EU leaders to weaken regulations aimed at improving the agricultural industry.

Optimism Amidst Controversy

Image Credit: Shutterstock / wellphoto

Some people are more optimistic about the change. The Danish Society for Nature Conservation has hailed this tax agreement as a “historic compromise.” Their head, Maria Reumert Gjerding, optimistically stated that this lays the groundwork for a restructured food industry beyond 2030. 

Could the U.S. Follow Suit?

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Stock-Asso

Will Denmark’s first steps inspire other nations to follow suit? In America, a country with almost 90 million cows, a tax of this sort could bring historic change to the agriculture sector. But with many farmers already struggling to survive, it’s safe to say it would not be a popular move.

Oil Dumping Scandal Rocks Ships Heading to New Orleans

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Aerial-motion

Two shipping companies have been fined after knowingly hiding a large oil spill in the Atlantic Ocean. Oil Dumping Scandal Rocks Ships Heading to New Orleans

20 Eye-Opening Realities Facing Retiring Baby Boomers

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jack Frog

As Baby Boomers approach retirement, the promise of leisure and security often seems unattainable. This generation faces unique challenges that could redefine retirement. Here’s a stark look at the realities shaping their outlook. 20 Eye-Opening Realities Facing Retiring Baby Boomers

Retail Apocalypse: Massive Closures Sweep Across U.S. Brands

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tada Images

Stores across the U.S. are closing at unprecedented levels, according to new research from advisory firm Coresight Research. Read on for more information about the impact this could have on you and your communities. Retail Apocalypse: Massive Closures Sweep Across U.S. Brands

The post Major Hiccup: Farmers Outraged at Being Forced to Pay for Burping Livestock first appeared on EcoHugo.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / PeopleImages.com – Yuri A.

For transparency, this content was partly developed with AI assistance and carefully curated by an experienced editor to be informative and ensure accuracy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *