Scientists want to breed cows that burp and fart less in a bid to save the planet
Shaun Wooller, The Sun (UK)
27 Nov 2019
SCIENTISTS hope to save the planet by breeding cows that burp and fart less.
Cattle fuel global warming by creating the greenhouse gas methane when they digest food.
Emissions could be cut by using cows that eat less grub but produce the same amount of meat and milk.
It would mean Brits could enjoy their steak and latte with less guilt about climate change.
Farming expert Prof Mike Coffey said some beef breeds are a third more efficient than others.
And he believes they can be made even less polluting by selectively breeding the best specimens.
It involves identifying and mating the individuals that produce the most meat for the least feed.
Similar work on dairy cattle is also ongoing.
Prof Coffey, from Scotland’s Rural College, said: “By making cows more efficient, we can help to combat climate change.
“People will not need to feel so guilty about eating their steak or drinking their latte because the associated emissions will be lower.
“Farmers are saying we are prepared to reduce our share of greenhouse gas emissions.
“We will lead on that by producing cows that produce less methane, cows that grow faster and eat less feed.
“By next year farmers will be able to select bulls whose daughters consume less feed for the amount of milk they produce.”
Livestock are responsible for up to 14 per cent of all greenhouse emissions from human activities.
Methane is largely belched out by sheep and cattle and accounts a third of total emissions from agriculture.
They produce 250 to 500 litres of methane a day, including a little in their farts...