Bovine pill to cut methane emissions

NEW ZEALAND - Canterbury farmers are keen to milk a new German invention – a pill to limit bovine belching.
calendar icon 2 April 2007
clock icon 1 minute read
German scientists have invented a plant-based pill which curbs belching in cows, limiting the amount of methane they release into the environment.

The pill's inventors, from Germany's Hohenheim University, claim methane gas produced by cows is responsible for about 4 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.

The fist-size pill, derived from a plant called bolus, combined with a special diet and strict feeding times is meant to reduce the methane produced by cows.

The invention was greeted with enthusiasm by Kiwi farmers. Dairy farmer and Federated farmers North Canterbury president Harry Schat said he would seriously consider using the pill if and when it arrived in New Zealand.

Dunsandel dairy farmer Leo Donkers said pressure was increasing on farmers to be kinder to the environment.

Donkers said he would consider using the pill if it was cost-effective and improved his stock's health.

Belching in cows was particularly bad in spring when stock become bloated, he said.

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