Farting and burping cows across Britain will soon be fed “methane suppressants” in a bid to stop their gassy habit from fuelling global warming.
Gaseous cows have been blamed for fuelling emissions by belching and breaking wind, but it seems a solution could be at hand as the British Government desperately tries to hit net-zero.
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Ministers plan to order farmers to give their dairy cattle “compound feeds” that contain additives to reduce digestive gas.
The Mail Online reports: The Government’s Net Zero Growth Plan, released this week, looked to address concerns from the High Court that existing plans to reach the climate goal before 2050 were not detailed enough.
The plan said the bovine supplements could be introduced ‘at pace’ from 2025 – or as ‘soon as practically possible’ – in efforts to reduce emissions by 20 per cent by 2030, as Britain’s commitment to the Global Methane Pledge requires.
Cows are a big contributor to climate change, with farm animals producing around 14 per cent of carbon emissions from human activity worldwide.
The plans are expected to add around 33p a year to the cost of milk for the average consumer but ministers could also choose to subsidise the superfood feed.
Dustin Benton, former government adviser on food strategy, told The Telegraph the suppressants could eventually be given to sheep as well as cows.
‘Most dairy cows are milked twice a day, and when they’re going to be milked they usually eat, so that’s a pretty good way of getting it into them.’
Mr Benton added that the suppressants were a good start but that further action would be needed to reduce the impact of livestock.
A government source said that ‘significant’ progress had been made thanks to innovation in agricultural products and that there were ‘major benefits’ to the plans for farmers and the climate.
The suppressants contain a number of additives, including seaweed, organic acids, probiotics and antimicrobials and essential oils, that reduce the amount of gas produced during digestion.
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