Dutch officials in the city of Haarlem, Netherlands are banning advertisements for meat products in an effort to fight “climate change.”
Haarlem will become the first in the world to ban ads for meat because of its claimed impact on climate change, “woke” officials boasted on Wednesday.
The city of 160,000 people near Amsterdam has agreed to outlaw ads for intensively farmed meat from 2024.
The ads will be banned in public places such as buses, shelters, and screens.
The move was approved by the city council in November but went unnoticed until last week when a councilor announced he had officially notified advertising agencies.
The motion for the ban was drafted by Ziggy Klazes, councilor for the GroenLinks (Green-Left) party.
“It will be the first city in the Netherlands — and in fact Europe and indeed the world — to ban ‘bad’ meat ads in public places,” Klazes told AFP.
She said it went against the city’s politics to “earn money by renting the city’s public space to products which accelerate global warming”.
The ban would target all “cheap meat from intensive farming,” Klazes said.
“As far as I’m concerned, that includes ads from fast food chains,” she added.
The city had not yet decided whether the law will also outlaw ads for organic meat.
Amsterdam and The Hague have already banned ads for air travel, petrol-driven cars, and fossil fuels.
The ban has been criticized by the Dutch meat industry and some political parties who see it as a form of censorship and stigmatization of meat eaters.
“Banning ads for political reasons is nearly dictatorial,” Joey Rademaker, a Haarlem councilor for the right-wing BVNL party, said in a statement.
The Dutch meat industry body, the Centrale Organisatie Voor de Vleessector, said Haarlem authorities were “going too far in telling people what’s best for them,” the Trouw newspaper said.
The sector recently launched its own campaign called “Netherlands Meatland” to promote meat-eating.
Haarlem’s ban comes following months of protests by farmers againts the government’s plans to cut nitrogen emissions to meet EU environmental targets.
The new rules are impossible for many farmers to meet, meaning a large number of farms will be forced out of business by the green agenda.
The Dutch government wants to reduce the country’s herd of four million cows by nearly a third, and will possibly shut down more farms to meet the goal.
Angry farmers have blocked roads with manure and trash, set fires, and held huge tractor rallies to protest.
The protests have gathered support from prominent figures around the world, including President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, the legal status of the carnivorous crackdown is also uncertain.
A ban could be challenged as an attack on freedom of expression, administrative law professor Herman Broering of Groningen University told Trouw newspaper.
Haarlem council must still study the legal issues before the ban can come into force, added Ziggy Klazes.
“You can’t ban adverts for a business, but you can ban adverts for a group of products” for public health, she said.
“Take the example of cigarette ads.”