Greenhouse gas emissions from New Zealand livestock are being exempted from the country’s new emission trading scheme.

“It would be wrong to say that we should stop consuming animal products as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the goal must be to produce more animal protein in a more environmentally sustainable way,” Barry O’Neil, deputy director general of MAF Biosecurity New Zealand and president of the World Organisation for Animal Health OIE, said in London last week.

“Animals certainly are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, but will be exempt from the emissions trading scheme until 2012. This is because we are working on research that will reduce emissions. I think there is some quite promising research 3-5 years away, that could achieve a quite tangible reduction, certainly in our ruminants anyway.”

* This is the sixth article in a special FWi mini-series profiling OIE President Barry O’Brien’s speech in London on Tuesday 20 May 2008.

Next article: Poultry disease risk manageable appears Tuesday 3 June.