- Defra has committed to working with the industry to reduce methane emissions in livestock through methane-suppressing feed products.
- The initiative is part of the Environmental Improvement Plan and aims to explore innovative ways to reduce agricultural emissions.
- Methane-suppressing feed products are expected to enter the market by 2025.
- Defra plans to establish a mature market and mandate the use of these products in appropriate cattle systems by 2030.
- The agricultural sector accounted for 10% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, with methane emissions being a significant contributor.
The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) has announced its commitment to work with the industry to reduce methane emissions in livestock. The focus will be on using methane-suppressing feed products, particularly in England.
Defra has confirmed its plans following a call for evidence run jointly with the Devolved Governments. The aim is to understand the opportunities and challenges associated with methane-suppressing feed products. Defra will work closely with industry and farmers to encourage the widespread adoption of these products in England.
Methane-suppressing feed products are expected to become available in the market by 2025. Defra’s plans include providing guidance, advice, and support through schemes such as the Farming Innovation Programme, Animal Health and Welfare Pathway, and Environmental Land Management schemes. There is also the possibility of introducing a tailor-made program.
Net Zero Growth Plan
The initiative aligns with the UK’s Net Zero Growth Plan and aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Farming Minister Mark Spencer emphasized the government’s commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The plans also align with the government’s response to the 2023 Climate Change Committee Progress Report, which recommended the mandatory addition of methane-inhibiting additives to feed products for UK beef and dairy systems.
The agricultural sector accounted for 10% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. Methane emissions, primarily from ruminant livestock like cows and sheep, are significant contributors. Research indicates that feed products with methane-inhibiting properties can significantly reduce these emissions, especially in confined cattle.