Wednesday, 15 May 2024 12:25

Breathalyser for cows

Written by  Milking It

OPINION: The Irish have come up with a novel way to measure cow belching, which is said to account for 70% of total agri-emissions in Ireland.

While Jack Pilkington and Alan O'Donovan, co-founders of County Offaly-based Agri Data Analytics, don't dispute this figure, they say it would be way more accurate if "bovine belching" was measured more precisely.

They suggest their answer to the problem, a breathalyser for cows, could give greater insight into the problem, in Ireland and further afield, helping determine if farmers are shouldering disproportionate blame for climate change.

The system works by automatically reading a cow's identity tag when it approaches feed, then the breathalyser starts drawing air from the feeding trough once they begin to eat. Traditional hands-on testing can be stressful for livestock, something the duo wanted to avoid, so they encouraged the cattle to comply with testing voluntarily, using feed to entice cattle to the trough.

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