Alternative Technology hub proposes 80% livestock cut
Published:  12 July, 2010

A new report from the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) has claimed that an 80% reduction in livestock products will reduce 82% of greenhouse gases in the agricultural sector in the UK.

Called Zero Carbon Britain 2030, the research also suggested that non-livestock products generate more food and have a higher nutritional value than meat. Kim Bryan, spokesperson for CAT commented: "Zero Carbon Britain 2030 shows that, acre for acre, grazing livestock produce more greenhouse gas emissions along with less nutritional value than other animals or crops.

"The report proposes a reduction in grazing livestock, because logic and evidence compel it, not for any other reason. There will still be meat but less of it. Our task with the report was to demonstrate that it is possible to bring British net greenhouse gas emissions to zero. We found this to be impossible without a reduction in the production and consumption of animal products."

However, National Beef Association chairman Christopher Thomas-Everard called the report "a naÔve statement that fails to recognise that 72% of the UK land mass grows vegetation that can only be eaten by sheep or cattle. We are dismayed that yet another potentially influential organisation has been unable to resist the easy call to condemn meat production as wasteful."

He added: "The good management of grazed pasture land is essential to sequester and lock vast stores of carbon into the soil below. Managing otherwise unusable land in this way provides many millions of wholesome meals for people and contributes greatly to the national economy."

The survey contains input from 13 universities, 12 research bodies and eight key industry players.

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