Emissions in the beef and sheep production sector have fallen in almost every decade for the past 40 years, a study has estimated.
The project, which looked at historic performance and production data for beef cattle between 1970 and 2010, showed the beef carbon footprint fell from 23.05 kilogram of carbon dioxide equivalents (kg CO2-e) per kilogram of liveweight, to 14.41kg CO2-e. This is equivalent to a 9.4-percent fall every decade.
The figure for sheep fell from 13.8kg CO2-e to 11.78kg CO2-e over the same period. While hindered by a lack of consistent quality data, the figures for sheep still showed a reduction of 9.3 percent in the last ten years. This was credited to greater output for every ewe and reduced reliance on artificial fertilizer.
"Rather than becoming a scapegoat for emissions, we can demonstrate continued and progressive reductions in our carbon footprint without the need to rely on decreased livestock numbers," an English Beef and Lamb Executive Ltd. of the United Kingdom spokesperson stated.
Reprinted in part from Stackyard