Could Germany impose a tax on meat?


By Florence Schulz,

Jan 10, 2020


translated by Daniel Eck


Shortly before Germany launches its “green week”, Lower Saxony’s conservative agriculture minister, Barbara Otte-Kinast (CDU), again raised the issue of introducing a meat tax, which is something animal welfare activists have been demanding for years. EURACTIV Germany reports.


The debate on meat production has picked up speed, one week before tens of thousands of people are set to protest once again on Germany’s roads, demanding more environment-friendly and animal-friendly agriculture as part of the traditional “We’ve had enough” demonstration.


The topic dominated German politics already last summer, driven by the Greens at the time.


But this week it was the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) that put the matter back on the agenda. Lower Saxony’s Agriculture Minister Barbara Otte-Kinast demanded in an interview on Monday (6 January) the introduction of a special tax on meat to generate more income for animal welfare.


“At the cash register, we know that it will not be paid voluntarily. We don’t need to bet on that”, Otte-Kinast told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. “We probably need a special tax,” she added.


In the summer, agriculture politicians of CDU, SPD and the Greens had spoken out in favour of a higher value-added tax on meat. MP Albert Stegemann (CDU) said a tax increase for meat could be a “constructive proposal” at the EU level.


However, this additional revenue would have to be used as an animal welfare premium to support livestock farmers in Germany in converting to more animal-friendly stables.


No EU member state has introduced a meat tax ...


“The price alone is not meaningful enough” ...