After humans, cows are believed to be the biggest polluters of our Planet, responsible for three-quarters of all methane emissions - and most of it is thanks to their incessant burping!
Reducing this even slghtly, could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions substantially and really help in our fight against global warming. A Canadian scientist is therefore on a new quest. He wants to examine why cows produce so much methane and see if he can breed a species that will be more environmentally friendly!
In order to do that he is planning to examine which gene in the bovine's four stomachs is responsible for the methane production.
The Alberta scientist has several ideas that he think may work. Among them are breeding cows that grow faster, hence spend less time munching grass. He also thinks cows could be bred so that they can convert more food to muscle and hence produce less waste.
While these are radical methods and require genetic engineering of the animal, some natural methods that in our opinion make more sense are already being used.
One of the more humane ones is feeding the cows with a diet that is higher in energy and rich in edible oils - things like hemp, alfalfa and flax. Stoneyfield Farm in the USA is already using this method and has managed to reduce methane production by 12 percent. Scientists estimate a measure as simple as that, if followed by every farmer, would be equivalent of taking off half a million cars off our roads!
sources: dailymail.co.uk, sun.co.uk