Scientists in Denmark say they have made progress in “decriminalising” cows in the climate debate, with a 58% methane emission reduction in laboratory trials when they added a product called Mootral to a typical Danish dairy ration of maize silage and soybean meal.
A spokesperson said: “This is an impressive and exciting result. We will continue our studies with Mootral to verify the effects in real cows under farm conditions.
“The in-vitro test showed clearly that Mootral increased early fermentation and did not affect feed degradability, whilst reducing methane.”
Livestock emissions are a considerable contributor to greenhouse gas emissions.
Until recently, there has been no commercial, scalable solution to reduce methane emissions from cows.
Over the past 10 years, researchers in the UK and leading European institutions, funded by the Swiss-based life science group, Zaluvida, developed a unique, patented natural feed supplement made from fruit and vegetables.
This supplement, Mootral, has been shown to instantly reduce methane emissions from ruminants by at least 30%, helping the livestock industry to reduce carbon emissions immediately.
Zaluvida’s mission to ensure better value animal products with Mootral involves consumers paying slightly higher prices for climate-friendly meat and dairy, to help farmers reduce their livestock’s environmental impact in a sustainable way.
It is also envisaged that businesses can sponsor climate-smart cows, and use these to leverage the associated greenhouse gas reduction to offset their carbon impact and support their marketing campaigns (see mootral.com).
Zaluvida introduced Mootral to Danish scientists at the University of Copenhagen and the results of their in-vitro trials shows a strong impact of Mootral on rumen fermentation.
The Copenhagen University research was led by Mette Olaf Nielsen, professor in sustainable animal nutrition, and Hanne H Hansen, professor of cattle production, department of veterinary clinical and animal sciences.
Dr Hilde Vrancken, vice president research & development, Zaluvida, said: “By using Mootral, farmers will now have an opportunity to provide meat and dairy products to the consumer while creating an immediate positive effect on the climate and the cow’s health and productivity. Since our market research has shown that consumers are excited about the concept of climate-friendly products, we are looking forward to move forward the discussion around Mootral.”
Zaluvida is a pioneer in therapies and technologies for obesity, antimicrobial resistance, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.