Study shows that antibiotics double methane emitted by cows

Published by Marie-Amélie Brun on

26th May, 2016

Today, a lot of antibiotics are given to cattle in prevention of diseases. A study, published by the Royal Society  on Wednesday, revealed that they contribute to antibiotics resistance but also to climate change.
Tobin Hammer has co-conducted the study showing that Tertracycline, an antibiotics used worldwide to treat cattle, is contributing  to climate change.

The medication transforms the usual digestive system of the cows and fecal microbita resulting in the emission of twice the amount of methane normally produced.

According to the BBC Weather Centre, cows emissions are responsible for 20 per cent of the “enhanced greenhouse effect”.

“We believe that the tetracycline treatment favours the growth of methanogenic archaea in the cows’ intestinal tract by reducing the bacteria in the gut.”, says the authors of study.

Since the 19th century, methane gas emissions have increased by 150%, according to NASA’s Goddard Institute. Methane is much more potent than the CO2 and traps as well the solar heat in our atmosphere, increasing global warming.

In Ireland, 90 tons of veterinary antibiotics were sold in 2014, according to the Health Products Regulatory Authority.

As reported in the independent.ie, in 2015, MRSA was found in Irish pork meat in the UK, experts denounced the use of antibiotics that creates antibiotics resistance and results in overuse of the products.
Two facts that underline what is at stake concerning the use of antibiotics : climate change and public health

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Marie-Amélie Brun

Marie-Amélie is a contributor to the Green News. She is currently completing a Masters in International Cooperation and Multilingual Communication at the University Grenoble Alpes.