Hanover (dpa) – The FDP has recently supported a price surcharge on meat products, in particular to relieve pig farmers financially when implementing animal welfare measures. This emerges from a position paper by the FDP in the Lower Saxony state parliament, which, according to parliamentary group leader Stefan Birkner, was coordinated on Monday with “leading heads” of the federal FDP. So far, the FDP in the federal government had rejected an animal welfare levy.
Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir (Greens) has to say the amount of the levy with the words involved, Birkner. However, they may not exceed 40 cents per kilogram of meat. “From our point of view, that is certainly the maximum that can be talked about.” With a consumption of 7.4 million tons of meat per year, this corresponds to income of almost three billion euros, which should flow into an animal welfare fund by federal law. The levy should apply to all countries of origin and also to wholesalers. Grocery retailers are responsible for “keeping the burden on customers as low as possible and ideally bearing all of the additional costs”.
However, the new proposal is part of a package, emphasized Birkner. For example, the FDP calls for additional labeling of meat products with a view to husbandry and origin, as well as a freeze on new animal husbandry requirements that put German agriculture at a disadvantage in European competition. In addition, legal requirements would have to be changed in order to make investments in barn buildings legally secure. The aim is to prevent a structural break in the affected regions.
Lower Saxony is an agricultural state: More than half of the German fattening chickens and roosters are kept there (60 percent), around every third pig (33 percent) and around every fifth beef (21 percent).
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220815-99-392855/2