4 Sep 2008

Kangaroo farming suggested for Australia

12:12 pm on 4 September 2008

As scientists and planners wrestle with the challenges of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock, the idea of kangaroo farming has surfaced in Australia.

New Zealand's Industrial Research Institute chief executive Shaun Coffey, who has been speaking at a climate change conference in Canberra, says world livestock numbers are tipped to double in the next 40 years, to meet food demand.

At the same time those industries will be expected to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from livestock.

Shaun Coffey says the idea of replacing some of the sheep and cattle with wildlife such as kangaroos as been raised as one solution.

He says kangaroos, which are mono-gastric animals, do not produce methane emissions in the same way that cattle and sheep do. And Mr Coffey says kangaroo meat is leaner than most red meats.

However, says the technical difficulties of kangaroo farming pale into insignificance beside the social and cultural challenges of turning a country to consuming one of its native iconic species.