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A New chapter in India’s battle with farting cows

  • 10
  • 05
  • 2016

In the fight against global warming, all efforts are much appreciated. And if you can’t tackle issues up front, there might always be a solution at the back end. That’s why Indian scientists at the Cow Research Institute in Mathura are looking for ways to make Indian cows fart less.

The methane produced by farting cows (13 million tons a year in India alone) is reported to be contributing considerably to global warming. Compared to carbon dioxide, methane traps 25 times the heat per pound, so combating methane has a bigger impact per pound than reducing carbon dioxide. Using satellite images, researchers have determined the flatulent cows (and other livestock) are creating problems and are looking in different directions for solutions.

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One team of scientists is looking to find a new formula of cattle feed. Apparently, current cattle feed is having the same effects on cows that a big bowl of chili has on your nephew, and by changing the formula, this team of researchers hope to tackle the problem on one end.

Another solution, proposed by a breeding expert, is not to change the feed, but change the cows themselves. E. M. Muhammed tried to find a heat-resistant breed of cows, but in the process discovered that his miniature cows also had much less of a methane problem than their larger counterparts. Being only 25% of the weight of a normal cow, these mini cows produce just 10% of the methane their big brothers do.

Whatever way works best, it’s good to see India tackle their most important issues from different angles. Because not only will these efforts reduce global warming, but it will be nice to teach India’s livestock some better manners as well.

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Photo Credits: Attila Jandi & Arindambanerjee – ShutterStock

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