French Dairy Giant Considers Cow Masking to Tackle Methane Emissions

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 23: A statue of a cow has a face mask at Schatzie Prime Meat
Roy Rochlin/Getty/File

French dairy giant Danone said Tuesday it wants to slash methane emissions by 30 percent within seven years, pointing to the way the cows it uses are raised, handled, and milked as ripe for change.

AFP reports Danone said it would seek the cuts by 2030 using cow breeds that emit less methane, improving cow diets, prolonging their milking periods and capturing emissions from manure to be used for biogas, for example.

The company is also looking at innovative solutions to help reduce emissions including a cow mask that can trap burp gases, the report continues.

“We will see how we can improve practices in general on farms,” spokeswoman Jeanette Coombs-Lanot told AFP.

The company said it would reduce emissions by 30 percent by the end of the decade compared to 2020 levels.

The possible masking move follows a lead from a team of students from the Royal College of Art (RCA) in the UK who have designed a special mask for cows “aimed at tackling global warming.”

It’s all part of a project set up by the Prince of Wales, the BBC reports.

File/A dairy cow fitted with a wearable methane reducing mask, developed by Zelp Ltd., peers through a fence at a farm in Hertfordshire, U.K., on Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. Zelp, short for Zero Emissions Livestock Project, a U.K. startup developing a wearable device for cows to reduce their methane emissions by up to 60%. (Hollie Adams/Bloomberg via Getty)

The target for change set by Danon covers all fresh dairy products, such as yoghurt, made from milk the company purchases directly from 58,000 dairy farms in 20 countries. The company’s milk production accounts for 70 percent of the firm’s methane emissions.

Danon’s consideration of cow masking is the latest assault on global farming practices being implemented by government and non-government agencies alike.

New Zealand’s left-wing government has already announced a plan to tax livestock farts plus burps to spare the environment from emissions of methane and nitrous oxide.

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - OCTOBER 11: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern talks to reporters on a farm visit to announce the government’s proposals to tackle climate change by reducing agricultural emissions and enhance exports on October 11, 2022 in Tauherenikau, near Wellington, New Zealand. The New Zealand government has introduced a new proposal to reduce agricultural emissions in line to reach the country's 2030 methane reduction target. The proposed plans have also included many of the recommendations of the He Waka Eke Noa Partnership of agriculture sector groups to price and reduce emissions. (Photo by Lynn Grieveson/Getty Images)

File/New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern uses a farm visit to announce the government’s proposals to tackle climate change by reducing agricultural emissions on October 11, 2022 in Tauherenikau, near Wellington, NZ. (Lynn Grieveson/Getty)

Labour Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the former president of the International Union of Socialist Youth, announced the “world first” levy on the nation’s six million cows and 26 million sheep last year as a step towards tackling climate change, as Breitbart News reported.

Ardern’s move has angered the nation’s farmers who see it as a war on their livelihoods and an attempt to drive them out of business.

The British government previously announced it may also seek to impose carbon taxes on the food industry which could see the price of meat and dairy climb even further in a bid to tackle supposedly man-made climate change.

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary George Eustice said the UK would explore carbon taxes after the E.U. agricultural subsidies are phased out in 2027.

Eustice said border carbon taxes could also be used to “encourage countries like Australia, like New Zealand, to tackle their own greenhouse gas emissions.”

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