Genetics Team Breed Cows That Fart Less, Produce Less Gas Emissions

by Shelby Scott
(Photo By Isabel Infantes/Europa Press via Getty Images)

You’ve heard of green energy vehicles, but what about green energy bovine? That’s right. Amid the current climate crisis, a genetics team has managed to create a new breed of cows that fart less. As has been a major point of discussion within the last few years, cow flatulence remains one of the numerous contributors to contemporary society’s growing problem with greenhouse gases.

According to the New York Post, Genus PIc, a British genetics firm, has launched plans to create less gassy cows. The genetics firm has deemed their new breed of livestock “envirocows.” The outlet reports the genetics firm plans to begin tests on Monday. Then, they will be able to identify the least-gassy female calves. From there, hopefully, the environmentally friendly herd will expand.

The outlet reports that the dairy industry accounts for about 3% of the United Kingdom’s greenhouse gas emissions. Even more noteworthy, methane from cows accounts for half of those emissions. What’s significant about methane emissions is that while carbon dioxide has been the main point of discussion in regard to atmospheric pollution, methane is actually 25 times as harmful to the environment as carbon dioxide.

Now, current efforts to revolutionize the livestock industry seem within reach. However, unfortunately, it will take at least three years for the British genetic firm’s envirocows to begin cutting emissions.

That said, however, National Milk Record managing director Andy Warne said there will never be a methane-free animal. He emphasized that we’ll only ever be able to aid the cows in farting less. Warne stated, “An animal is never going to be carbon neutral.”

FDA Premarket Approves Two Breeds of Gene-Edits Cows

Scientists are making great strides in the livestock industry. British scientists continue work to breed cows that fart less, lessening the impact of methane gases. Meanwhile, another company has officially turned out two different breeds of gene-hacked “super cows.” And even more significant, the Food and Drug Administration has labeled them safe for human consumption.

The New York Post reports the super cows mark the first time in history that the FDA has awarded “low-risk” premarket approval for a gene-edited animal product.

As to the mutation itself, scientists have enabled these particular cows to grow slick, short coats. In the end, the genetic transformation benefits both the bovine and their caretakers.

As per the outlet, the short, slick coats will enable cows occupying warmer climates to better endure increased temperatures. And as to their caretakers, it makes overall maintenance of the animals much easier to handle.

Steve Solomon is director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine. Solomon said that achieving low-risk status for GMO beef demonstrates “commitment to using a risk and science-based, data-driven process that focuses on safety to the animals containing intentional genomic alterations and safety to the people who eat the food produced by these animals.”