The chairman of the livestock husbandry commission of the Ministry of Agriculture, the former Minister of Agriculture Jochen Borchert (CDU), criticizes the sluggish implementation of the concept for an animal welfare levy, which has been available since the beginning of 2020. So far, it has failed due to the "completely unclear financing," said Borchert in an interview with WELT AM SONNTAG.
“It is solely due to the blocking attitude of the FDP. She fails to recognize the problematic situation in the industry," said Borchert and at the same time defended Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir (Greens). "The minister is working intensively and with commitment." The counter-proposals made by the FDP so far, on the other hand, are "not thought through".
The so-called Borchert Commission proposes an animal welfare levy or a higher VAT on meat in order to use the money to compensate farmers for the costs of larger stables in the long term. So far, the traffic light coalition has not been able to agree on the concept that the previous government had initiated.
"If the coalition does not start soon, it will no longer be able to enter the system in this legislative period," warned Borchert. In view of the decline in the number of pet owners, there is a need for action.
"If we don't give any prospects in this difficult phase, then the decline will be much more dramatic. That's why we need clarity as soon as possible, because the companies are now faced with the decision to stop or continue," said Borchert.
The forecast four billion euros in annual costs would only be reached in a few years.
“We are starting with much lower sums: one billion euros is planned for the first three years. So we are burdening the budget in the acute crisis to a reasonable extent,” Borchert defended the project. In return, consumers could be relieved by higher social benefits.
An alternative is a lower VAT on vegetable products: "Then we have a compensation and even a steering effect in the direction of less meat, which is also demanded by many doctors," said Borchert.