A CITY in Holland has voted to ban adverts for meat products from public spaces as part of a broader crackdown on animal agriculture in a climate row that is engulfing the country.


No more meat adverts?

In the city of Haarlem - about 20 miles west of Amsterdam - adverts for meat products are to be banned from buses, bus shelters and public posters and screens.



The measure has been taken, the city says, to address the link between meat production and the climate crisis and comes against a backdrop of major unrest in the country as it cracks down on its lucrative agriculture sector. It has been in crisis mode since a 2019 court ruling forcing the government to slash emissions of nitrogen oxide and ammonia, which livestock produce.



The Dutch government’s drastic proposal is to curb the number of chickens, pigs and cows that make-up the Netherlands’ industry, contributing to €105bn in annual farm exports, reducing livestock by a third and buying farmers out to shut down production and hit its goal to halve emissions by 2030.


The response?

Thousands of agricultural workers have staged demonstrations, blockading cities with tractors and burning hay bales on key routes, with one protestor being shot at by police amid frenetic scenes at one summer demonstration.



In Haarlem, meat is going the way of cigarettes, with the advertising ban seeing it join a list of already-banned advertising for petrol powered cars, the fossil fuel industry and flying - which are also banned from Amsterdam, Leiden and The Hague. GroenLinks Party councillor, Ziggy Klazes, who drafted the motion, said: “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. Meat is just as harmful to the environment. We can’t tell people there’s a climate crisis and encourage them to buy products that are part of the cause.”


Fast food?

Klazes added that the ban would target all “cheap meat from intensive farming”, adding: “As far as I’m concerned that includes ads from fast food chains.” But the city has not yet decided whether to ban adverts for organic meat when the measures come into force from 2024. Klazes said it went against the city’s politics to “earn money by renting the city’s public space to products which accelerate global warming”.


What has the reaction been to this latest development?

The meat industry is furious, while some politicians say the ban is a form of censorship, stigmatising meat eaters. Industry body Centrale Organisatie voor de Vleessector said the council is going “too far in telling people what’s best for them.” And Haarlem councillor for the right-wing BVNL party, Joey Rademaker, said: “Banning ads for political reasons is nearly dictatorial.”


And the chaos continues?

Dutch agriculture minister, Henk Staghouwer, resigning earlier this week, having held the position for only nine months.