BURP AND FLUFF TAX: The opposition has suggested graziers pay a levy on the methane their livestock produces.
BURP AND FLUFF TAX: The opposition has suggested graziers pay a levy on the methane their livestock produces. Shannon Hardy

Taxing animal created methane gas labelled as 'ridiculous'

A SUGGESTION by the Federal Opposition that cattle and sheep producers should pay a levy on methane emitted by their livestock has been labelled as "ridiculous” by AgForce.

North Queensland regional president Dominic Burden said the livestock industry felt it had been unfairly targeted as a major carbon producer, when in fact it had been steadily decreasing its carbon footprint for many years.

"It is unfair to target agriculture, which is responsible for such a small percentage of Australia's carbon emissions, and which is on the path to meet its goal of carbon neutrality by 2030,” Mr Burden said.

"Methane produced by livestock is responsible for just 1.5 per cent of Australia's greenhouse emissions, and advances in animal husbandry are further reducing this amount.”

Mr Burden said it was not only unjust but entirely misguided to target graziers when many other activities - for example, power generation, sewerage treatment and transport - have so much more room to improve and offer greater opportunities to reduce carbon emissions.

"Agriculture is about the only industry that has substantially reduced emissions, whereas virtually every other sector of the economy has increased emissions over the last 25 years.”

"Agriculture is contributing more than 80% of the total emission reduction contracted under the Australian Government's Emission Reduction Fund auctions.”

"Were it not for our sector, Australia would have no chance at all of achieving its emission reduction targets.”

"Taxing cow burps and fluffs is a ridiculous idea that will make beef more expensive for Australian families.”


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