Vaccine, nut oil may cut cow belching’s contribution to climate change
The worldwide race to quell livestock belching is on! Earlier this month, New Zealand researchers came one step closer to developing a vaccine that would reduce the methane emitted from belching livestock. Ruminant livestock burp and fart significant quantities of methane — a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. “Our agricultural research organization … was able to map the genome … that causes methane in ruminant animals and we believe we can vaccinate against [that],” said New Zealand’s trade minister. On Tuesday, Japanese scientists said they demonstrated that oil from the shell of the cashew nut may cut by some 90 percent the methane emissions from cattle burps when mixed in with their feed. The cashew-derived cattle-belch suppressant could be on sale within four years. If it takes off, the technology could be a real cashew cow! Ruminants are responsible for about 25 percent of methane emissions in Britain as well as some 90 percent of New Zealand’s.