Seaweed aids red meat sector's carbon goal

·1-min read

Australian cattle farmers are feeding their animals seaweed to reduce methane in cattle burps as the red meat industry ploughs towards carbon neutrality.

The sector set a 2030 carbon neutral target four years ago based on advice from national science agency CSIRO, which found it was achievable.

Meat and Livestock Australia managing director Jason Strong said seaweed called red asparagopsis grown around Australia was helping cut emissions.

"It also has a positive impact on performance," he told a Senate estimates hearing in Canberra on Thursday.

Earlier in the year, a study found putting a small amount of the seaweed could make bovine belches contain 82 per cent less methane.

Mr Strong said focusing on increasing farm productivity and environmental improvements was even more crucial to reducing emissions.

"The opportunity here is for us to be more profitable and more productive, to have intergenerational sustainability so we can continue to feed the world and leave the environment in better shape," he said.

He said farmers' reactions to the target were positive overall.

"Of course they represent broader society as well so there's certainly some concern and concern about how might we do that."

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