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The crucial role of cattle in the carbon cycle

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 Meat & Livestock Australia, Media Release, 10 August 2021

The first of a series of themed animations being produced to debunk myths about the environmental impact of red meat production in Australia has been launched by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA).

The animation explains how methane from cattle is part of the natural carbon cycle, demonstrating how the environmental impacts of emissions of methane from cows and carbon dioxide from fossil fuels, are fundamentally different.

The two-minute video is the first in a series of five animations being launched by MLA this year, addressing important topics such as nutrition, sustainability and traceability in order to address a growing thirst for knowledge from the community about food provenance.

MLA Managing Director, Jason Strong, said that while the animations are part of the red meat industry’s efforts to be more transparent, they will also work to proactively counteract any misleading claims about the credentials of red meat production systems in Australia.

“Comparing different greenhouse gasses is a very complex topic, but it’s vitally important for people to understand the systems that we live within, the impacts, and most importantly, what we’re doing about it,” Mr Strong said.

“We’ve created these animations to reduce some of the confusion through content that is easy to understand, which we hope will enable people to make informed decisions about what they eat and why.

“The red meat industry must continue to be on the front foot in sharing the good story about our farming systems, the nutritional benefits of red meat, our animal wellbeing and environmental stewardship credentials, and our drive for intergenerational sustainability and productivity improvement in a competitive global marketplace.

“While the community want something done on climate change, they also want to continue to enjoy red meat as part of a healthy diet and it’s our job to provide the evidence that says it’s absolutely ok to keep doing that.”

Mr Strong said the red meat industry was doing more than most to be part of the climate solution.

“In 2017, the red meat and livestock industry set the ambitious target to be Carbon Neutral by 2030 (CN30) which provides a framework to guide investment in technologies and research that will foster productivity and grow profitability throughout the red meat supply chain,” Mr Strong said.

“Agriculture has already done much of the heavy lifting on limiting carbon pollution with net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from red meat production less than half what they were in 2005, representing by far the greatest reduction by any sector of Australia’s economy.”

The animations form part of a broader program of community engagement work for MLA, under the Australian Good Meat branded digital platform, including the Australian Good Meat website and social media channels, aimed at reaching consumers who are keen to learn more about how red meat is produced in Australia. MLA will also promote the animations through the Primary Industries Education Foundation (PIEFA) to encourage school teachers to utilise these and other MLA resources in classrooms across Australia.

Preview the animation here


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