Why the Pigou Club prefers chicken
Proposals to tax the flatulence of cows and other livestock have been denounced by farming groups in the Irish Republic and Denmark.
A cow tax of €13 per animal has been mooted in Ireland, while Denmark is discussing a levy as high as €80 per cow to offset the potential penalties each country faces from European Union legislation aimed at combating global warming.
The proposed levies are opposed vigorously by farming groups. The Irish Farmers' Association said that the cattle industry would move to South America to avoid EU taxes.
Livestock contribute 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases believed to cause global warming, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation. The Danish Tax Commission estimates that a cow will emit four tonnes of methane a year in burps and flatulence, compared with 2.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide for an average car.