The wind of change…

ENVIRONMENTAL authorities want toreduce the amount of methane gas in the atmosphere produced by cows.

Farmer Andrew Le Gallais with some of his cows
Farmer Andrew Le Gallais with some of his cows

ENVIRONMENTAL authorities want toreduce the amount of methane gas in the atmosphere produced by cows.

The move is not a bid to improve the manners of ruminants in the Island, but a serious attempt to help Jersey to reduce its overall emissions of greenhouse gases.

Cow burps and other emissions are thought to contribute about one per cent of the annual output of greenhouse gases and with the States Environment department aiming to cut harmful emissions by 80 per cent of 1990 levels by 2050, all ideas are being considered.

Dr Louise Magris, the Environment department’s director of policy, said that whereas cows contributed only a small fraction to the overall emissions in the Island, the agriculture sector could still play a significant role.

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Comments for: "The wind of change…"


Nicely timed now the new incinerator is up and running! How about tackling the CO2 emissions at JEC with turbine generators and large marine engines running at full pelt, what are the CO2 emissions for them due to their short-sightedness. I would be guessing around 500,000 to 1000000 tonnes a year if not more!!! But no, we are looking in part, to tackle cow farts.


JEC gas turbines are EMERGENCY ONLY source of electricity. They are off almost all the time. They are started only in cases of major electricity shortages (like the French cable failures) - because they can be up and running and generate electricity very quickly. They are shut down as soon as possible as they are quite expensive to run.

Congratulations. You have just picked much better target to reduce Island CO emission than the cows burps, indeed.

Mark G

So here comes a tax for everytime a cow releases gases into the air or will be a fixed rate tax per cow?


How about improving our water quality by reducing the use of harmful fertilisers?


It`s not April fools day yet is it? Try cutting the emissions on all the cars, lorrys boats, comercial boilers in hotels & workshops etc first, it would be much easier than trying to stop a few cows farting.

C Le Verdic

It is looking more like the 'justify my job' season!

Has Dr Louise Magris met Dr Jason Lane?

Who will pop up next with their bid?


Exactly:Out of this world !!!

Leave those poor cows alone...

They have more right to be here then 50% of the population !!!


Call in a group of English 'consultants' to tell us the obvious.

Old Crappo

you couldn't make this up if you tried, when I first read the headline I thought it was April 1st. Does this mean that we are going to have a "Minister of Cow Burps" and a department of civil servants who go around the countryside measuring cow burps and then slapping a fine on any cow that exceeds its daily allowence!.

And I suppose that if a cow does exceed its daily allowence that another States Dept will have to be established in order to remedy any cattle that don't play by the rules by way of stopping cow burps and blocking up the offending area with a cork!

And finally if this great idea does take off and proves successful will this be extended to the general public, just think we could have a "Minister of Flatulence" and another States Dept to administer that area as well.

What great ideas for revenue streams in these hard times!

Soul Doctor

Why not a Minister of Cow Flatulence... we already have more than one Minister of Bulls**t!!!


Cows fart all the time, that's just the way they are. Perhaps we should spend more time and money on tacking CO2 emissions we can control


A documentary on television yesterday evening showed swathes of Africa alight that combined are the size of Britain. And this is a yearly occurrence.

What Jersey is trying to do is pointless in the grand scheme of things. So one has to ask, what is the real reason? A new financial income stream perchance?


It never ceases to amaze me that despite the huge social problems that we have at the moment that states departments are able to spend huge amounts of time and money on such trivia, such as this load of nonsense, can we really afford to reduce our world famous herds any further, and the thrift club debacle. when yesterday a further one hundred and fifty jobs went south. Every day these days just seems to be a massive disappointment, endless amount of time spent on things that don't really matter and none spent on addressing the problems which effect the unemployed and people that could do with a leg up at the moment.


Basically it's civil servants extracting the urine.

the future

You could plant only a few trees in St Helier or speed up rush hour traffic by a tiny amount and have a much more significant effect our environment.


Will all cows have to be fitted with some form of cowteletic converter to reduce emissions?

How will this effect performance of the cow, will its grass consumption rise per liter of milk (GPL) will this reduced GPL then be fined for not meeting EU laws?

I can see why this very important subject is taking president over cars,planes,boats, power stations and radio controlled helicopters. Should there be no smoking policy introduced to farm works just in case of accident discharge followed by a massive fire, this could put undue strain on the fire service. I guess insurance will have to rise as well to meet this threat.

City Boy

I wonder how much the independent reviewer will cost for this? What a joke the island is becoming. I hope The Sun picks up on this.


What brainless goon came up with this idea?!?!

Bean is right about tackling motors first!! bloody idiots that came up with this idea!


Can anyone suggest how you could actually reduce the amount cows fart? I assume the only option would be to reduce the amount of cows on the island? So, instead we will need to import more cow products from other countries which as 'Bean' comments would act to increase our carbon footprint : / Maybe we should ask humans to stop farting too?


Can't reduce it but you can stick a exhaust with a balloon at the end of it. Collect the balloons, leave them in containers in La Collette and wait for a storm to blow them away. Apologies and job done !


Cut through the spin. The real story is that the Civil Service have created yet another new department. Whilst carbon emissions may be the current PC subject do we really need yet another expensive department to monitor and regulate cow wind? Could we not just “monitor” what is happening in the rest of the world and apply as appropriate?

How much “carbon” could we save buy closing or severely reducing the size of this department along with savings for the tax-payer.

There is some evidence that common sense is making a belated comeback in local politics vis Plemont and the cycle track debacle. Now hopefully the same will be said for the regulation of Thrift clubs and now cow wind.

Next step is for our Government to take back control and stop this nonsense before it has started and millions have been wasted in salaries and reports. Money that could be spent on schools, health care and our rapidly deteriorating infrastructure.


Oh heaven help us. "Dr Louise Magris the environment Director of policy" Now there is a title and I suppose a salary and pension to reflect such grandeur.

Are we really going to make an iota of difference to Global Warming?

We could if we got rid of a big percentage of Civil Servants who dream this tosh up, and probably save a rain forest or two with the amount of wasted paper that these Quangos churn out.

Look at India or China and the rate they are burning coal, we will make no difference whatsoever, just have a load of constipated cows.

Why oh why are we paying this bunch of numpties to churn this stuff out.

Get the axe out and start pruning this excessive Civil Service from the top down, and save a damn fortune.

Mjolnir de Jersiaise

Ludicrous! They [the Environment Department] are just trying to create work (usually in the form of useless reports that are never acted upon) in order to protect their futile jobs. So what are they going to do? Do they have some miraculous food additive that prevents the formation of Methane, or are they planning a cull of our beautiful Jersey cows?


How are they going to take on the Chinese market if there is less cows ?

Sale the cows to the Chinese and start growing flying bananas !!!

Captain Fantastic

Can we also cut down the air conditioning in States buildings, run them on sustainable solar and wind energy also?

This would make more sense than picking on the farming industry surely?


"sustainable solar" and isn't Jersey the sunniest spot in the British Isles?

I do feel that we are missing out on this form of energy creation. But does the JEC wish us to create our own energy? Probably not.

Tony B

How? Slaughter the cow? Most methane is produced as 'Gaseous emission' from the bacteria in the rumen. No rumen , no bacteria no cow! As for the organic waste product, why waste it? Anerobic digester can produce useable fuel, and a top quality very pleasent to use soil improver.

Brandon Kent

Tell Hedley Le Maistre to stop secretly feeding the cows bean crock...


Nicely timed to come out at the same time that the Met Office have had to finally admit that Global Warming has "stalled" (their words).

One day, in years to come, people will look back at the 70s "ice-age scare" and the 90's "global warming scare" and have a good laugh at the ignorance of it all. According to Hansen, Manhattan should be underwater and the Arctic should have melted by now.

One big con worldwide to make money & raise tax revenues.........


Perhaps they should start with removing the Rat Poison from our local drinking water, better known as (Fluoride). This decays teeth and accumulates in the body causing all matter of diseases (FACT). I no longer want any amount of this stuff in my supplies!!! ...Perhaps they can ban all the toxic chemicals used as fertilizer on our crops and soil, sucked into our food that no amount of washing or cooking will filter out, and what about the fish when it all gets flushed out into the sea, mmmm how tasty, tasty fish caught in local waters, yum! Does anyone even care about these serious issues??? As for the cows, 1% seriously!! How ridiculous, what a laughing stock. If you want to reduce carbon emissions, simply ban all fossil fuel powered vehicles and bring in affordable electric powered cars, install power points at every car park, its all grand talking about it forever and spending the Island's cash on other stupid endeavors, but nothing will ever get done as is the norm in this tiny bureaucratic Monkey island!


Affordable electric vehicles are a green joke and are not the answer as the carbon footprint to produce the car and the batteries is huge and the batteries need replaced every few years (more carbon footprint)Also if you plug them now into Jersey electric now you are charging them with fossil fuel powered green juice.

Nick Palmer

Most of the ill-informed people above really should do a bit of basic research before they comment.

Methane emissions from livestock are a significant proportion of global greenhouse gases. In the US, direct emissions from cattle/livestock are about 2-3% of their total greenhouse gases but, as methane has about 20 times more power as a greenhouse gas than CO2, the atmospheric effect is quite large and cannot be ignored as many commenters seem to think.

In order to safeguard the climate for everybody, all nations that have significant emissions will have to reduce them as much as possible and the tone of some commenters is a bit tinfoil hat'ish - no-one is picking on cattle and ignoring transport and heating - all of these things are being looked at too.

One thing that the article did not address was that most of the carbon in the methane comes from cattle food - a non-fossil fuel derived source (although that will have a significant fossil carbon footprint too) and so is not so "guilty" as that from petrol, fuel oil etc.

A possible side effect of this research is that it might confirm the old story that the Jersey cow is more efficient at utilising poorer quality forage than the bigger breeds, which suggests that she might produce less methane per unit of milk than her competitors. In that case, demand might open up for a lucrative much larger semen export market than we currently have as other jurisdictions look to reduce their own cattle emissions


Mankind is on the road to ruin. Greed has seen to that. The eco-system is getting destroyed and abused daily.

The population is reaching dangerous levels yet little is done to control it!

BTW how much methane is given out by 7B plus people? Would it be more than all the cattle on the planet? Maybe a major cull here would have very beneficial results for the rest of the planet. I would expect so.

Maybe a commission could be set up to find a solution to this problem.

Nick Palmer

Pound for pound, cattle create a lot more methane than us.

There's 7 billion people and "only" 1.3 billion cattle but a cow creates something like 1000 times as much methane as an average person because of the different way it digests food. Apparently 2/3 of people create virtually no methane because of the type of gut bacteria they have.

Most cattle methane is actually in their burps, not the other end.


"all nations that have significant emissions" And is Jersey considered to be a nation that has significant emissions? I think not.

@Mario, I think WWIII will sort out the over population of humans problem.


Do the States really employ people who come up with such crap !!!

NEWSFLASH - the States have decided to implement a methane gas tax, all residents will in future be required to fart in a bottle to prevent the build up of methane gas or pay a fine for letting rip in public !!!



I believe that all vegetarian animals produce more gases than meat eating animals, therefore we should ban all vegetarians (including humans) from the island to reduce our carbon footprint allowing only meat-eaters to stay. The only trouble is, we would have little left to eat if we didn't have vegetarian cows and sheep.


As a side note, I recently read a report on Kangaroos, apparently they produce virtually no methane, and there are plans to introduce the bacteria responsible into cattle to see if they can reduce or eliminate the gasses produced by cows.

Nick Palmer

roombay42 @26

Your "logic" is rather flawed. Believing something does not make it true. First, all vegetarian animals do not "produce more gases" than meat eaters.

More importantly, as you almost said, if you "ban" the animals that create methane - the grass/forage eaters - then very rapidly there will be little to eat apart from vegetable life as all exclusive meat eaters would die out :)

Hot Air

@ Nick Palmer

Do some research into the co2 and methane emissions generated by an average volcanic eruption and you will find they far exceed anything man or beast produce.

Government backed statistics which you quote, conveniently back the need for Government to issue yet another tax on the populace whilst claiming that it is in the best interests of our planet. Oh really? I'm sorry, but I've yet to experience a Government anywhere which has our interests at heart.

This is nothing to do with environment and all to do with fleecing the public.


When it comes to CO2 emission you're probably right, but volcanos does not emit methane. Do some research.


@Slawek, you may wish to read this page regarding the gaseous output from a volcano: <a href="" rel="nofollow">Link</a>

Nick Palmer

Hot Air @27. You simply don't know what you are talking about. How dare someone as ignorant as you suggest I do some research. The authoritative US Geological Survey assesses that mankind's emissions dwarf the much smaller amount that volcanoes put out by about 150 to 1. As Slawek points out below, volcanoes do not emit appreciable methane anyway.

There are far too many gullible people these days who get sucked in by the tidal waves of misleading and dishonest propaganda put about by the climate change denialist movement.

Your final sentence is not only libellous to those trying to cope with the biggest threat to human civilisation ever, but is grossly irresponsible in the sheer arrogance and confidence with which you state it. You need to do some serious research yourself and stop relying on deceitful sources who want to twist your perceptions for their own selfish political purposes.


No one cares. And those that might would be wasting everyone's time.

I feel for the person who had to write this story.


Perhaps they could start with looking at all the hot air emitted from the States chambers and take it from there.....


Indeed very few care enough about the way things are going. Too many are wrapped up in their own little lives and don't think outside the little box they are in. At some time not too far away major ecological issues will hit like sledgehammers. Then people will be squeeling like pigs on a stake.