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Two stories on dairy cows and gas: one direct, the second indirect via manure decomposition. Greg

Dairy Cows Pump up Greenhouse Effect - Survey

Politics: 10 September 2005, Saturday.

Livestock - and in particular dairy cows - account for accounts for more than half of the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, according to a latest survey.

Cattle accounted for 84% of greenhouse gas emissions from enteric fermentation and 35% of greenhouse gas emissions from manure management in the EU 15, a survey of Eurostat, the EU's statistical service, has shown.

Although dairy cows make up only 7% of total livestock, they produce one third of greenhouse gas emissions from enteric fermentation and one sixth of those from manure management, statistical data showed.

Sheep accounted for 11% of the emissions from enteric fermentation. Pigs are, with cattle, the other important source of greenhouse gas emissions from manure management, with 36% of the total emissions from manure management in 15 EU Member states covered by the research.

In conclusion, it was found that agriculture accounts for around 10% of greenhouse gas emissions in the bloc of 25, and is the second largest source of such emissions after energy.

The EU experts advice that agriculture can also help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector by an increased production of renewable energy. In particular, the consumption of biomass in the EU 25 has grown by 47% between 1993 and 2003 to account for 4% of the total gross inland energy consumption.

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