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Can ruminant methane be reduced by genetic selection, vaccines or feeding seaweed? Garry Waghorn

Gary discussed three methodologies currently being worked on as mitigation strategies for methane reduction:

  1. Genetics
    • Certain sheep have been identified as having low methane emisions. These are also sheep whtat are low yielding so there is a trade-off with performance. This is explained that lower performance comes from lower VFA production so less energy for growth.
  2. Vaccines
    • Work would suggest that these cannot reduce methane substantially. The way vaccines work would suggest this cannot have a real impact in the rumen
  3. Seaweed
    • The active ingredient in seaweed is bromoform so better just to produce bromoform rather than dragging seaweed out of the sea. Bromoform does speed up ozone destruction. This is not a sustainable solution.

More research is needed on sustainable alternatives to reducing methane emissions.

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