Because of how meat affects the climate, Haarlem, Netherlands, plans to outlaw the majority of meat advertisements in public places.
It will begin enforcing the ban in 2024, in what is believed to be the first such action by a city.
The meat industry and other people who claim it stifles free speech have opposed the motion put out by GroenLinks, a green political party.
According to the UN, animals produce more than 14% of all greenhouse gasses created by humans, including methane.
“Meat is very harmful to the environment. We cannot tell people that there is a climate crisis and encourage them to buy products that are part of it,“ Ziggy Klazes, a councilor from GroenLinks who drafted the motion, told the Trouw newspaper.
The 160,000-person city’s administration claims that a decision has not yet been made regarding whether sustainably produced beef would be exempt from the ad ban.
Additionally, members of the Christian Democratic Challenge party backed the measure.
The meat industry quickly retaliated.
“The authorities are going too far in telling people what’s best for them,” stated a spokesman from the Central Organization for the Meat Sector.
According to the right-wing BVNL party, it “would be fatal for pig farmers” and was an “unacceptable violation of entrepreneurial freedom.”
“Banning commercials from politically born motives is almost dictatorial,” stated Haarlem BVNL councilor Joey Rademaker.
University of Groningen law professor Herman Bröring warned that the restriction on free speech could result in legal action from distributors.
According to Statistics Netherlands, although more than half of Dutch people consume meat, only about 95% of them do so daily.
Ads for the aviation and fossil fuel industries have already been outlawed in Amsterdam and The Hague.
Methane emissions from greenhouse gases, which include those from beef, are the highest. The environmental impact of lamb is the second largest, but these emissions are 50% lower than those of beef.
Source: “Dutch city of Haarlem may be world’s first to ban most meat ads” by BBC
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