Livestock contributes to climate change by emitting greenhouse gases. Breeding more ‘climate-friendly’ cattle is an interesting mitigation option here. Some individual cows emit less methane, while they are just as healthy and productive as other cows.
Sharing data and exploring possibilities
In the European network Methagene Wageningen University & Research, Animal Breeding & Genomics has brought together international partners from various disciplines (breeding, nutrition, physiology, microbiology and measurement teams) to share data and explore the possibilities of breeding.
Emitted methane differs per animal
We have shown that the amount of methane emitted differs between animals, even if they eat the same amount of feed and produce the same amount of milk. About 25% of the differences between these animals is due to the genetic predisposition of the animal. This means farmers can breed for it once a breeding value is published by breeding organisations. This is expected to happen within the foreseeable future.