California plans to regulate cow gas. Under legislation signed Monday by Gov. Jerry Brown, the state will begin regulating greenhouse-gas emissions tied to dairy cows and landfills in an effort to fight climate change.
The new law requires steep reductions in a variety of pollutants, including methane; HFC gases used in aerosols and air conditioning refrigerants; and soot, known as black carbon. It’s tied to $90 million in funding for the dairy industry and garbage collectors.
The law also allows the Air Resources Board to regulate cow flatulence if there’s viable technology to reduce it. Good luck with that.
Feedyard will close
One of Canada’s largest cattle feeders intends to close the gate next year. Western Feedlots Ltd. — which has sites near Strathmore, High River and Mossleigh, Alberta, with capacity for 100,000 head — said Wednesday it will idle its operations after it markets all the cattle it currently owns. The company said its 85 employees will eventually be laid off.
Livestock analyst Kevin Grier told the Calgary Herald, “This is a big cattle buyer that’s no longer in the market. And in an environment where prices are already struggling, this is just going to make things worse.”
Antibiotics under scrutiny
World leaders agreed Wednesday on steps to curb the rapid rise of drug resistance, the first global effort to stop the spread of bacteria that are becoming immune to many of the most critical medicines.
The argument repeated often this week is that scientists warn overuse of antibiotics in people and in animals puts human health at risk by reducing the power of the drugs. Most agricultural leaders agree it’s a problem, though many believe too much of the blame falls on animal production. “The media coverage of the issue has become an echo chamber for the activists demanding that industry be banned from routine use of antibiotics,” says Drovers columnist Dan Murphy.
China could resume imports of U.S. beef
China, potentially the largest market for beef in the world, has banned most U.S. beef imports since the BSE scare in 2003. That could change soon, according to statements this week from China’s Premier Li Keqiang, reported in the Wall Street Journal, and from the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).