Irish experts are trying to cut Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions by curbing flatulence and belching in cows.

The Department of the Environment has stated that Ireland has one of the highest levels of greenhouse gas emissions per head in Europe. There are 6.6 million cattle and 4.6 million sheep in the country.

“The long term goal is to identify animals that produce lower levels of methane,” said Richard Dewhurst, head of and animal research and bioscience department while speaking to the Irish Sunday Times.



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He believes Ireland’s carbon footprint can be greatly reduced by a controlled diet for cattle that includes concentrate feed as well as silage.

A control test of two different groups of animals discovered that the silage-only diet led to far more methane gas emission than a mixture of both diets.

“Animals fed on a  silage diet produced twice as much methane as those who were fed on a silage and cereal concentrate diet,” said Dewhurst.

However, he pointed out that the concentrate diet was far mor expensive than silage. He said the option was under active review to offer financial subsidies to feed the cows the concentrate diet.