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Gaviscon For Cows

April 2, 2023

By Paul Homewood


h/t Ian Magness


In years gone by, you would have been entitled to think this was an April Fool’s joke!

Sadly it is now just a sign of the crazy times we live in:




All dairy cows will be given “methane suppressants” to stop them belching so much under the Government’s net zero plans.

Ministers are planning to force farmers to give their livestock “compound feeds” that contain additives to reduce gassy digestion.

Cows and other farm animals produce around 14 per cent of the total carbon emissions created by human activity worldwide.

Methane is released into the air when cows belch or break wind and is one of the most potent greenhouse gases – warming the planet 25 times more effectively than carbon dioxide.

The Government’s Net Zero Growth Plan, released this week, contained new measures to help Britain reach its 2050 climate goal after the High Court ruled that existing plans were not detailed enough.

The plan said officials “anticipate entry of high efficacy methane suppressing products to the UK market from 2025” and would explore their use for cow farms “at pace”.

“This will include the ambition to mandate the introduction of products with proven safety and efficacy in compound feeds for cattle as soon as practically possible in England,” it added.

The news was welcomed by green campaigners who said it would help the UK to reduce methane emissions.

Britain’s commitment to the Global Methane Pledge requires it to reduce emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, but analysis by the Green Alliance suggests current plans will only cut them by 14 per cent.

Dustin Benton, a former chief analytical adviser to the Government on food strategy, said the suppressants should be given to dairy cows first but could later be adapted for sheep.

“Most dairy cows are milked twice a day, and when they’re going to be milked they usually eat, so that’s a pretty good way of getting it into them,” he said.

“Let’s start with what we can, reduce the methane that comes from cows and work out how we can go further.”

It is estimated that the extra cost of feeding methane suppressants to cows would add around 33p per year to the cost of milk for the average consumer.

But the cost could be borne by taxpayers if ministers choose to subsidise the feed, or by supermarkets in a form of greenhouse gas levy.


The afore mentioned Dustin Benton just happens to be Policy Director at the Green Alliance, something which the Telegraph disingenuously omitted to mention.

  1. mwhite permalink
    April 2, 2023 9:27 am

    ” What are ruminant animals?
    Bovines and Cattle
    Ovines and sheep
    Caprines and goat-antelopes
    More examples of ruminant animals”

    Why do they just pick on cows?

    • W Flood permalink
      April 2, 2023 11:03 am

      I am not taking their side but I checked and there are an awful lot of cows. I blame Macdonalds.

      From the heart of beef Country (Dumfries and Galloway)

  2. GeoffB permalink
    April 2, 2023 9:28 am

    I assumed it was April Fools day prank. Gullible me! Mind you my Unicorn breeding program is progressing well, the DNA was isolated a year ago and we should be harnessing the methane rich burps and farts in a few years. Grant Shapps has generously given me a billion pounds in his recent net zero handouts. As I write this from my luxury villa in Necker Island, which I recently acquired from Richard Branson (down on his luck), the first unicorn eggs are hatching.

    • April 2, 2023 11:44 am

      It seems that every government announcement could be an April Fools Day prank. Like the BBC and the Grauniad, you have to assume that every announcement is foolish if not totally bonkers.

    • Tonyb permalink
      April 2, 2023 5:34 pm

      I still think it must be related to April 1st.

      • David permalink
        April 2, 2023 6:32 pm

        Sadly not an April Fool, MPs (from all parties) have been talking about this for a long time, also the National Farmers Union are all for net zero, they are pushing farmers to be net zero, not by 2050 but by 2040 no less. It is not only the NFU but also the CLA and nearly all land agents who can make money out of this by ‘advising’ farmers what to do!

  3. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    April 2, 2023 9:34 am

    Is Methane the new carbon dioxide these days ?

    • W Flood permalink
      April 2, 2023 11:00 am

      Yes. Unfortunately the main sources of methane in the atmosphere , apart from ruminants, are swamps , bogs, rice paddies, termites nests plus just plain leaking out of the ground. It is as natural as can be. Luckily it gets converted to carbon dioxide in a couple of years by oxidation by ozone.

      • Ray Sanders permalink
        April 2, 2023 11:27 am

        Technically CH4 gets converted to CO2 by reaction with the hydroxyl •OH radicals present in the atmosphere. This is where hydrogen (H2) becomes a major problem if it escapes into the atmosphere. The H2 reacts with the •OH radicals (in lieu of the methane) and consequently hugely lengthens the residence time of methane. Hydrogen has been given a GWP (global warming potential) of over 6 (under review to be as high as 11) where CO2 is only 1.

      • thecliffclavenoffinance permalink
        April 2, 2023 3:12 pm

        Methane is irrelevant.
        A very tiny concentration in the atmosphere and the infrared absorption wavelengths are already controlled by water vapor, The methane effect on Earth’s ability to cool itself is probably too small to measure.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      April 2, 2023 11:02 am

      You could be right, Douglas. Brought to you by the same fools who are pushing the idea that renewables are nine times cheaper than FF, they now want to push the nonsense that methane is 25 times more potent as a gh gas than CO2 – on the basis that the constant demonising of CO2 is starting to lose traction with the thinking public. And, of course, illiterate and immature fools like our Phoebe, will believe every word.

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        April 2, 2023 11:11 pm

        Harry, you should waste more of your time keeping up with the looney scaremongers.
        John Tyndall (in 1861) actually MEASURED methane as 4.5 times more than CO2 at absorbing Heat Rays (as he called Infra Red).
        The IPCC in 1990 chose 12 times worse, but that figure has increased dramatically and AFAIK is now 85 times. This seems to be the figure used by third rate (and I am being polite) Academics trying to scare people.
        It annoys them if you point out that at 85 times and the recent claimed “alarming rise” in concentration in the air, that it must have almost the same effect as CO2 so the latter cannot be such a threat.
        And don’t point out the rise in cattle numbers only occurred after the decline in bovines in Africa and buffalo in North America.

        In my opinion the force feeding of Gaviscon should be applied to politicians.

  4. Chris Manuell permalink
    April 2, 2023 9:41 am

    “We went to Christine Baes, associate professor in the department of animal biosciences at the university of Guelph, for the answer.
    She said that it’s important to note that methane is not released by the cows themselves, but the bacteria in their gut. Similar bacteria also exist in the environment and produce methane in wetlands, rice fields and landfills.

    The actual amount of methane released from a single blade of grass wouldn’t change if it was just left to decompose, or if it was eaten by a cow and then digested by the bacteria in their gut.
    The only difference is that the methane would be released more quickly by a cow or other ruminants (animals that acquire nutrients from plant-based foods with the help of microorganisms).”

  5. El Draque permalink
    April 2, 2023 10:07 am

    I recall these methane suppressors being trailed decades ago on TV. Tomorrow’s World maybe.
    Idea was that methane burped out was a waste of energy. Suppressing it would boost milk production. Reducing costs, etc.
    I suppose it didn’t work as planned. Otherwise it wouldn’t raise the price of milk.

    • Curious George permalink
      April 2, 2023 3:59 pm

      Do these “additives to reduce gassy digestion” (for cows) even exist?

  6. Bill Hutchison permalink
    April 2, 2023 10:14 am

    For an excellent talk ” Methane the Irrelevant GreenHouse Gas” go to the Irish Climate Science Forum ( and scroll to Sept 21 2022.

    • April 2, 2023 11:47 am

      the Irrelevant GreenHouse Gas

      What other kind is there? The whole atmosphere is a greenhouse gas if that term has to be used.

  7. W Flood permalink
    April 2, 2023 10:54 am

    Methane has a gwp of 25 measured using the crazy gwp method. The amount of methane added annually actually does very little warming.

    • a-man-of-no-rank permalink
      April 2, 2023 11:46 am

      Yes W, they keep comparing pure gases, when methane is not pure in our atmosphere. David Coe told us the methane and N2O together would contribute up to 0.3degC. Why do intelligent people keep telling these lies?

  8. Gamecock permalink
    April 2, 2023 11:03 am

    ‘Cows and other farm animals produce around 14 per cent of the total carbon emissions created by human activity worldwide.’

    [Citation needed]

    False precision fallacy. Theirs is a wildass guess.

    ‘Methane is released into the air when cows belch or break wind and is one of the most potent greenhouse gases – warming the planet 25 times more effectively than carbon dioxide.’

    Funny, it doesn’t feel 25 times hotter. Their statement is not intended to inform; it is to scare.

    ‘The news was welcomed by green campaigners who said it would help the UK to reduce methane emissions.’

    Well, as long as they are happy . . . .

    It’s not important what the other 99% of the people think? The country is being run for the hippie freaks? Who hate you?

  9. tomo permalink
    April 2, 2023 11:54 am

    It was only a matter of time….

    Next up – gas tight bloomers for cows to collect tractor fuel from the other end?

  10. Chris permalink
    April 2, 2023 12:01 pm

    I was told by a shop assistant that they are having shortages of eggs due to the resistance of supermarkets in paying for the increased price of eggs from the farmers. Due to high energy costs and grain prices. How is this new proposed insane scheme from the Tories (also known as WEF stooges) going to reduce the cost of food?

    • gezza1298 permalink
      April 2, 2023 6:22 pm

      What makes you think that the millionaire Prime Minister Sushi is trying to reduce the cost of food or even cares about home much it is costing you?

  11. Vatsmith permalink
    April 2, 2023 12:11 pm

    And there was me thinking that we were beginning to learn that it was better not to muck about with nature any more than absolutely necessary when producing our food.

  12. Brian O'Hara permalink
    April 2, 2023 12:58 pm

    My daughter believes I’m a high emitter of methane. I’ll have to swear her to silence, or they will be coming for me!

  13. avro607 permalink
    April 2, 2023 1:41 pm

    The bandwidth where methane sits is totally swamped by by the largest GH gas ,water vapour.So nothing going on there.

    • John Lyon permalink
      April 2, 2023 1:57 pm

      There was once a product that was widely used by the industry (monensin) , it also has an anecdotal side effect of suppressing the onset of johnnes disease according to some studies. Then the EU banned it because it was possible to class it as an antibiotic. It has been allowed back in bolus form as a treatment for ketosis and I used it on any cows that were suspected of carrying johnnes, seemed to keep them alive.

    • bobn permalink
      April 2, 2023 2:26 pm

      Correct. Methane emissions are minute on the scale of the atmosphere. Methane CH4 decomposes very quickly and its radiative bands of @3.3 and 7.6 are saturated by H2O and CO2. All talk of CH4 warming is theoretical and laboratory based. In reality, in the atmosphere, warming by CH4 hasnt been measured and cant be measured as it is minute, trivial and irrelevant. However the Vegans can use their fake nonsense to attack animal farming. Save the Planet – eat a vegan.

  14. mariongrinmartin permalink
    April 2, 2023 2:29 pm

    That is nonsense, the cows themselves do not produce more methane than if the grass where to rot naturally

  15. thecliffclavenoffinance permalink
    April 2, 2023 3:20 pm

    I had to read all the comments before I was confident this was not an April Fool’s joke. Many leftist climate claptrap ideas seem like jokes. Now that I realize how dangerous cows are, I have done my part to reduce this existential threat: I ate a hamburger today.

    I recommended this article on my blog, on my daily list of the best climate science and energy articles I’ve read that morning — up to 24 articles and links are listed. Often including one or more links to article from here: The best UK climate and energy website, and one of the best in the world. Proving that climate science needs a lot more retired accountants, and a lot fewer Ph.D. scientists.

  16. catweazle666 permalink
    April 2, 2023 6:20 pm

    “Britain’s commitment to the Global Methane Pledge…”


    Better get theHindus to kill all their sacred cows, stop all that rice growing, dry out all the swamps and exterminate termites – for starters!

  17. gezza1298 permalink
    April 2, 2023 6:29 pm

    It should always be the British Government’s commitment to Net Zero and their 2050 target, not the country since I haven’t committed to either of these.

    In the final sentence it has the cost of this stupidity being picked up by taxpayers in funding a subsidy, or by the taxpayers as supermarkets will certainly pass on the cost of any tax the government places on them by raising food prices.

  18. Chris Phillips permalink
    April 2, 2023 6:32 pm

    As well as the stupidity of thi iidea it’s worth remembering that the carbon in the emitted methane isn’t even “new” carbon. It comes from the grass the cattle eat, and the grass absorbs it from the air as it grows. So the cattle merely recycle it. But you can’t expect our scientifically illiterate politicians to understand that.

  19. Mark Hodgson permalink
    April 2, 2023 7:44 pm

    We all seem to be of the same mind. My wife read it out to me and I was sure it was an April Fool.

    May I recommend a superb April Fool from Cliscep’s JIT:


  20. April 2, 2023 10:52 pm

    This is truly sad. Four billion years of evolution, and the human race is taken out by cow farts. Is this a plot from a Vonnegut novel? Please let it be so.

  21. April 2, 2023 11:09 pm

    My first thoughts were ” unintended consequences”

    Seems like nutty zealots leading the ignorant leading the stupid

  22. John Wainwright permalink
    April 3, 2023 9:08 am

    Gaviscon flavour milkshake anyone!

    • Douglas Dragonfly permalink
      April 3, 2023 10:52 am

      Gaviscon should be avoided by anyone with high blood pressure.
      It has a high salt content.

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