They don’t know it yet, but Britain’s cattle are about to do their part to meet the country’s emissions targets. According to the Government’s Net Zero Growth Plan, released this week, dairy cows will soon be fed supplements to reduce the amount of methane they expel through belching and breaking wind.
The methane suppressants contain additives like seaweeds, essential oils, organic acids, probiotics and antimicrobials that reduce the amount of gas produced by digestion.
Bovine herd leaders have yet to comment on the scheme. MailOnline has the story.
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.