Australian scientists have said they are hoping to breed sheep that burp less as part of efforts to tackle climate change.
The scientists have been trying to identify a genetic link that causes some sheep to belch less than others. Burping is a far greater cause of emissions in sheep than flatulence, they say.
About 16% of Australia’s greenhouse emissions come from agriculture, says the department of climate change.
Australia’s Sheep Cooperative Research Council says 66% of agricultural emissions are released as methane from the gut of livestock.
“Ninety per cent of the methane that sheep and cattle and goats produce comes from the rumen, and that’s burped out,” John Goopy from the New South Wales Department of Industry and Investment told ABC.
“Not much goes behind – that’s horses.” [And cows]
The scientists’ goal in the long term is to breed sheep that produce less methane, which produces many times more global warming than carbon dioxide.
Well, we grow burpless peppers in New Mexico. Seems to me we could come up with a burpless sheep.