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Conservation Science for a Healthy Planet

Identifying ‘green’ cattle with lower emissions promises more sustainable farming for multiple benefits

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October 30, 2017 University of Bristol  read full ScienceDaily article here

Implications of livestock farming on climate change should not be drawn from aggregate statistics, reveals a study based on a new method of carbon footprinting for pasture-based cattle production systems that can assess the impacts of individual animals.

…The ability to identify “green” cattle within a herd — cattle that produce lower emissions per kilogram of liveweight gain — promises more sustainable farming, they report in the study published today in the Journal of Cleaner Production….

..”We agree with the FCRN report that ruminants cannot reverse climate change, even if they are grass-fed,” says Michael Lee, Head of North Wyke and Professor of Sustainable Livestock Systems at Bristol Veterinary School.

“However, as we discussed in our 2014 article in Nature, pasture-based livestock production systems have a multifaceted role in society — the point acknowledged, but not actively addressed, by the FCRN report….

G.A. McAuliffe, T. Takahashi, R.J. Orr, P. Harris, M.R.F. Lee. Distributions of emissions intensity for individual beef cattle reared on pasture-based production systems. Journal of Cleaner Production, 2017; DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2017.10.113

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