Efficient production in bovines reduces more methane than not eating meat
Efficient production in bovines would reduce methane emissions more than not eating meat, a new study reveals.
A new study found that an efficient production system in dairy cows and beef cattle would reduce methane emissions more than not eating meat.
A new study on methane reduction in cows
The paper, titled The Key Role of Changes in Production Efficiency on Mitigating Livestock Methane Emissions, was published in May 2021 in the prestigious journal AGU Advances. Six researchers participated in the article. In the text, they mention that ruminants are animals whose digestive system produces methane gas. This gas is considered a greenhouse gas. In recent years, much research in animal production and veterinary medicine has been dedicated to finding methods to reduce these environmental effects.
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This new publication estimated methane production according to the recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The authors analyzed the production efficiency of the world’s main livestock-producing countries, according to FAO data. In addition, they calculated the production of methane emissions from dairy cows and beef cattle, and emissions from products obtained from buffalo, goats and sheep, pork products, poultry, and eggs.
Efficient production in bovines reduces methane production
The researchers found that in recent decades, efficient production has an important impact on reducing methane emissions from cows. The text explains that improved breeding processes, animal selection, and advances in nutrition had an impact on the reduction of methane produced by cattle.
To face the emission of greenhouse gases, agriculture and animal production have opted to reduce meat consumption. However, according to the researchers’ analysis, efficient production in bovines has a greater impact.
Finally, the article indicates that the ten countries with the highest production in the world should implement measures for efficient production in bovines. These production improvements would have the greatest potential to reduce global methane emissions. According to the study’s calculations, if the efficiency is improved, methane emissions will be reduced by 60-65% by 2050.
Ermias Kebreab, a researcher at the University of California, Davis, added some comments to this study. Kebreab indicated that “improvements in production systems (supply) can decrease methane emissions by a greater amount than making changes in consumption habits (demand), especially in developing countries”.
Some of the proposed changes are improving cow nutrition with the use of software designed for that. In addition, the selection of animals with better performance in meat and milk production is also considered.