Farmers in New Zealand seethe over proposed 'fart tax'

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By Euronews  with EBU
In this Sept. 24, 2012 photo, dairy cattle are milked on a farm near Reporoa, south of Auckland, New Zealand.
In this Sept. 24, 2012 photo, dairy cattle are milked on a farm near Reporoa, south of Auckland, New Zealand.   -   Copyright  Nick Perry/AP

In New Zealand, the government wants farmers to pay a tax for the emissions of their livestock, in what has become known as the 'fart tax'. 

This mainly concerns the harmful greenhouse gas methane released by the farts, burps and excrement of cattle.

The farming sector is responsible for more than half of New Zealand's emissions, and the levy hopes to contribute to the goal of being climate neutral by 2050 and reducing methane emissions by 10 per cent by 2030.

The sector is one of the last sectors in New Zealand to pay for emissions. The country has had an emissions trading system since 2008, but farmers have not had to participate until now.

There are more than 50,000 farms throughout New Zealand, with over 10 million cows and 26 million sheep. 

The agricultural sector accounts for more than half of exports, with New Zealand being the largest dairy exporter in the world.

Watch the video in the video player above to find out more.