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New Zealand’s New Levy on Cattle Burps and Farts Could Be the First of Many “Gas Taxes”

When it comes to taxation, it seems as if there's no end. However, for New Zealand, there may soon be several new initiatives. The nation’s leaders have decided that the climate is not good. And when it comes to curbing the meat and dairy industries, they are blowing them out of the water. There could be a big change at hand. After digesting the issue, the government is ready to implement a historic tax. According to Sky News, the new plan would introduce a tax on cow feces. Sheep would be inspected as well.

The country has twice as many cows as Kiwis, with four times as many sheep per citizen. About half of its greenhouse-gas emissions are derived from agriculture, most often as methane. In the past, farts were given the benefit of the doubt. According to the New Zealand government, agriculture-related emissions were previously excluded from the country's emissions-trading program, which has drawn criticism of the government's efforts to reduce global warming. Because of all that pollution, the air is as steaming hot as a Dutch oven. Methane has more than eight times the power to warm the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, so cutting it is a potent way to limit warming.

The tax will make life more difficult for both burps and farts. Here's an explanation of the biological process: More than 85 percent of New Zealand's methane emissions are derived from two different sources of agricultural origin, including animal stomachs and manure, with the manure making up 97 percent of the total. In cows, the majority (95 percent) of methane is exhaled. The remaining 5 percent is released through flatulence.

In the draft plan, conceived by government officials and agriculture reps, farmers will be required to make their payments starting in 2025.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw detects the smell of success. “There is no question that we need to cut the amount of methane we are putting into the atmosphere, and an effective emissions pricing system for agriculture will play a key part in how we achieve that.”

Paying for flatulence will not be the only method for farmers to help in the sense that there’s not just one method to take care of an animal. The proposal offers incentives to farmers who can reduce emissions by using feed additives. On-farm forests could be utilized to reduce emissions. The proceeds of the program will be used in research as well as development and advice for farmers.

The time is now for history to be made, and New Zealand is trying its hand at it. The plan could make the nation the first country to be able to charge farmers for the gas produced by their animals. The idea of a biological “gas tax” could be a tempting idea. It could be used to generate profits in homes all over the globe. In New Zealand, what global impact could it have? New Zealand has a population of just over five million. Beyond this, what happens when farmers are unable to pay it? If bovine farts deliver excessive stress and some consider it “bull—-,” what then?.

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