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Meat sector aims for carbon neutrality

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Australian cattle farmers have backed a plan to make the country’s red meat industry carbon neutral by 2030.

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Meat and Livestock Australia managing director Richard Norton said the target would help ward off competition from laboratory-produced meat and protein vegetable burgers.

“We’re quite enthused by the industry embracing the fact we’d like to make sure this is not a target that passes us by and we actually achieve carbon neutrality by 2030,” Norton told a Senate inquiry today.

MLA has been working with the CSIRO to establish how much carbon is emitted from farm gate to the processing sector.

“The reason we’re buoyed and enthused by the project is that there are some 15 to 20 different pathways by which the red meat industry can achieve carbon neutrality,” Norton said.

He said large pastoral companies had embraced the concept of the target.

Norton has previously said that the CRISO project has identified a range of ways to reach carbon neutrality, without the “heavy hand of regulation”.

Options include the expanded use of legumes and dung beetles in pastures, savannah fire management in northern Australia, feed supplements, feedlotting and vegetation management.

Genetic selection and a potential vaccine to reduce methane production in the rumen were other opportunities, he said.

– with AAP

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