Seaweed Animal Feed to reduce Cow methane

15th February 2022

The COP26 summit may have finished for another year, but that doesn’t mean we should stop any attempt at cutting down carbon emissions, in fact researchers are working on a three-year trial by looking at the use of seaweed sourced by UK Fisherman in helping to reduce methane production in cattle. This will of course mean evaluating the nutritional value of seaweed and assess to potentially reduce methane emissions and improve animal health and enhance meat and milk quality. Researchers at the Queen’s University Belfast are currently testing seaweed from the Irish and UK coastlines, rather than import red seaweed tested in other studies.

Seaweed could be effective in reducing methane

Early signs indicate that seaweed, which contains the ozone-destructive compound ‘bromoform’ is not only effective in reducing methane, but potentially preferable than imported seaweed from foreign countries. It is estimated that cows belched out 82% less methane after putting small amount of seaweed in their feed. The UK sourced seaweed contains active compounds called phlorotannins, which are safe and often found in red wine and red berries. It is also anti-bacterial and is sort to improve immunity and include additional health benefits for cows.

What is Methane?

Methane is a major greenhouse gas, although not as dangerous than Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. However, it is more than 30 times as effective in trapping heat. Recent figures show that the UK agriculture accounts for 10% of all the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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