U.K. farmers working on breeding cows to “grow faster but eat less”

Farmers are aiming to breed cows to grow faster and eat less feed in a bid to reduce the environmental impact of beef production.

Professor Mike Coffey from Scotland's Rural College told a panel in London it could reduce methane emissions by about a third.

He said:

“There's a huge prize available, the difference between the best and worst animals in cattle feed efficiency is about 30%.
“So if every farmer in the country used the best animals we could save about 30% of emissions in cattle.
“By next year farmers will be able to select bulls whose daughters consume less feed for the amount of milk they produce.
“Where we go next is can we actually measure methane emissions from groups of animals.”

Professor Coffey was speaking at an event held by Science Media Centre called “Can We Have Our Meat and Eat It? – The Future of Meat Production.”

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