Haarlem, which has a population of around 160,000, will no longer show meat adverts in public spaces like buses, shelters and screens from 2024
A Dutch city is set to ban meat adverts from public spaces in a bid to curb consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Haarlem, which has a population of around 160,000, will become the first city in the world to prohibit the ads when the ban comes into force in 2024.
The ban, which will target ‘cheap meat from intensive factory farming‘ (with no official word yet on whether this will extend to organic meat), has emerged as meat is deemed to contribute to global warming.
While the city council approved the ban in November, it largely went unnoticed until last week, when a councillor announced he had officially contacted advertising agencies.
Since then, it has faced criticism from some quarters, including the country’s meat industry and various politicians.
Joey Rademaker, a Haarlem councillor for the right-wing BVNL party, said: “Banning ads for political reasons is nearly dictatorial.”
Meanwhile, the industry body the Centrale Organisatie voor de Vleessector, said the city council is ‘going too far in telling people what’s best for them’.
Meat adverts ban
However, according to Ziggy Klazes, a councillor from the GroenLinks party, who drafted the motion banning the adverts, the party is ‘not about what people are baking and roasting in their own kitchen’.
However, she said, it goes against the city’s politics to ‘earn money by renting the city’s public space to products which accelerate global warming’.
She told a local radio station: “If people wanted to continue eating meat, fine… We can’t tell people there’s a climate crisis and encourage them to buy products that are part of the cause.
“Of course, there are a lot of people who find the decision outrageous and patronising, but there are also a lot of people who think it’s fine.
“It is a signal – if it is picked up nationally, that would only be very nice. There are many groups of GroenLinks who think it is a good idea and want to try it.”
She also noted that she was unaware when drafting the motion that the ban, which also covers adverts for holiday flights, fossil fuels and fossil fuel-powered cars, would be the first of its kind globally.
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