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Farmers could be breeding more environmentally-friendly cattle by next year to reduce the sector's carbon footprint, scientists have said.
Farming experts said that the livestock industry will reduce its carbon emission by breeding cattle that grow faster but eat less so that their environmental impact is lower.
Scientists - Emissions - Cattle - Farmers - Breeds
Scientists claimed that this could cut methane emissions from cattle by up to a third if farmers used the most environmentally-friendly animal breeds.
This could also lead to shoppers in the next few years being able to check the label of their food to discover the environmental impact it has had, they added.
Professor - Mike - Coffey - Professor - Livestock
Professor Mike Coffey, Professor of Livestock Informatics at Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), said researchers had been studying which breeds of beef cattle eat less food for the same growth.
He said that the difference in methane emissions from best and worst cattle was about 30% and that if all UK farmers used the most efficient animals this could reduce carbon emissions by nearly a third.
Science - Media - Centre - 'Farmers - Share
Speaking after a Science Media Centre briefing he added: 'Farmers are saying we are prepared to reduce our share (of green house gas emissions).
'We will lead on that by producing cows that produce less methane, cows that grow faster and eat less feed.
Prize - Difference - Animals - Cattle - Efficiency
'There's a huge prize available, the difference between the best and worst animals in cattle feed efficiency is about 30%.
'So if every farmer in the country used the best animals we could save about 30% of emissions in cattle.'
Prof - Coffey - Year - Farmers - Bulls
Prof Coffey said by next year farmers will able to select bulls for breeding that will...
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