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UK Farmers Try Special Diet To Reduce GHG Emissions From Cows

cows.jpgIn a move to be more environmentally friendly, some UK farmers have put their cows on a special diet in order to reduce GHG emissions.

According to “Green and White,” released by Dairy UK, the amount of methane each cow emits in producing a pint of milk can be reduced by following a special diet.

Early results of the diet show a 20 percent drop in the amount of gas produced for each liter of milk. The report says if the figures can be repeated for the U.K.’s entire milk output, it would be equivalent to removing 1.6 million tons of CO2 every year.

In related news, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is calling for people to have one meat-free day to cut GHG emissions, the Telegraph reports.  According to Pachauri, animal production accounts for 18 percent of all GHG emissions.

But farmers – no big surprise here –  disagree. The National Farmers Union told the Telegraph that “simplistic measures [to reduce meat consumption would] create more problems than they solve.”

British Meat Processors Association Director, Stuart Roberts, also told the Telegraph that he was disappointed by the comments, adding that the meat industry “already takes its environmental responsibility very seriously.”

Adjusting diets is not the only way for animals to help the environment. Increasingly animal manures are also being used to produce energy. In January, Energy Trust of Oregon launched an initiative to turn dairy waste into renewable energy.

In March, PG&E announced its biogas-to-pipeline injection project in Fresno County has begun producing renewable natural gas derived from cow manure.

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