What's climate change doing to cows?: Farm vets are seeing worrying signs - can they help make livestock greener?

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What's climate change doing to cows?: Farm vets are seeing worrying signs - can they help make livestock greener?

Da The Food Chain

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Lunghezza: 26 minuti

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Australia's bushfires are thought to have killed more than one billion animals, and although many of the country's wild species have been worst affected thousands of livestock have also died, some of them buried in mass graves.

The severe droughts that partly fuelled the flames have been affecting cattle in Australia for several years, destroying many of their grazing lands - a vital source of nutrition. There are also signs that the extreme heat in some parts of the country could even be making these animals infertile. Graihagh Jackson speaks to Gundula Rhoades, a livestock vet from New South Wales, to find out more.

We also hear about the impact of climate change from two other farm vets. Edwin Chelule, from Nairobi, Kenya, says droughts there have been making dairy cows less productive, destroying families' livelihoods. And Emily Gascoigne, a sheep expert from the south west of England, tells us some disease patterns have been changing.

All three work in an industry that's a big part of the climate change problem – livestock are responsible for almost 15 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions - so can they use their medical expertise and close relationship with farmers to bring change?

(Picture: A farmer standing near the bones of a dead cow in a drought-affected paddock in New South Wales, Australia. Credit: Getty/BBC)
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