Feeding cows seaweed 'will not help in tackling global warming'

 

Livestock on the Dungarvan farm of Gillian and Neil O'Sullivan. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Livestock on the Dungarvan farm of Gillian and Neil O'Sullivan. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed says ‘no silver bullet’. Photo: Arthur Carron
John Downing

John Downing

Hopes that a seaweed additive to cattle feed could dramatically reduce Irish greenhouse gases have been dashed by Agriculture Minister Michael Creed.

The comments come as pressure increases on the Irish Government to tackle global warming amid the Taoiseach's own admissions that this country is a laggard on the issue. A number of Government actions are set to be unveiled from next month onwards, building towards some form of carbon tax in next autumn's Budget.

But one apparently magic remedy, of using seaweed to dramatically reduce bovine flatulence and resultant methane emissions, has met with a cool reception from Mr Creed. He said the research indicates that it may be more help for cattle raised indoors rather than Irish grass-fed beasts.

"There is no silver bullet here. Research indicates that it offers at best a temporary remedy as after a while the cattle enzymes change - and they are off belching again," the minister said.

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Irish Independent


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