6 Mar 2009

Genetics explored as part of solution to emissions

6:04 am on 6 March 2009

Scientists who gathered in Wellington this week to explore the options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from livestock have agreed that genetics could provide part of the solution.

The 30 international experts focused on breeding strategies that could reduce levels of methane from grazing farm animals, the biggest contributor to greenhouse gases in this country.

Convenor Roger Hegarty, of the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, says among the issues scientists looked at was whether animals could, or should, be bred to emit less methane per unit of feed.

Dr Hegarty says there are long-term and permanent gains to be made by taking the breeding approach but researchers need to first establish what the connections are between methane emissions and other aspects of livestock production.