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Gone with the wind: French scheme targets farting cows

Published on Feb 13, 2013 6:02 AM
A cow stands on grassland as fog covers the Inntal valley on a sunny autumn day in the western Austrian province of Tyrol, in this file picture taken Oct 23, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - A French cattle feed company on Tuesday unveiled a novel form of carbon credits aimed at incentivising farmers to stop cows from emitting climate-changing farts.

Grass-chewing farm animals are an often-overlooked contributor to global warming, as their emissions are of methane, a gas that is two dozen times more efficient than carbon dioxide in trapping solar heat.

In France, cattle account for five per cent of the country's carbon output. At a press conference, the company Valorex said it would offer a carbon-credit bonus to farmers who join the "Bleu-Blanc-Coeur" (Blue-White-Heart) initiative, which promotes food products with higher levels of the valued protein Omega 3.

Valorex sells a trade mix that comprises corn, soy, lupin and linseed, which it says means cows emit 64 per cent less methane, deliver better quality milk and need fewer vet bills.

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