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Published: Monday 22 July, 2013

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Kangaroos are a national icon, but are regarded as pests by Australian farmers

Eating kangaroo burgers instead of beef could significantly c wear online ut greenhouse gas emissions, according to an Australian scientist.

Removing seven million cattle and 36 million sheep by 2020 and replacing them with 175 million kangaroos could lower national greenhouse gases by three per cent a year, Dr George Wilson from the University of New South Wales said.

Methanes warming potential over a 100year time frame is 21 times higher than that of carbon dioxide, but its chemical lifetime in the atmosphere is only 8 to 12 years compared with carbon dioxides 100 years.

Therefore, reducing methane production is an attractive shortterm target for mitigating global warming, Dr Wilson said in his study published in the international journal Conservation Letters.

However, changing farming practices in Australia, which is one of the worlds top wool and beef producers, would be difficult.

T wear online he change will require large cultural and social adjustments and reinvestment, the scientist said.

One of the impediments to change is protective legislation and the status of kangaroos as a national icon.

The kangaroo is on Australias coat of arms, but farmers regard the countrys 34 million kangaroos as pests that compete for grazing pastures with sheep and cattle.

Australia is trying to develop a carbon emissions trading system by 2010, but the government has said agriculture would be excluded from the scheme.

The countrys greenhouse emissions totals about 1.5 per cent of world emissions. But Australia emits 28.1 metric tons of carbon per person, the highest per capita in the developed world and five times more per person than China.

The study found fa wear online rmers had few options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions other than changing feed stock, reducing livestock numbers or changing species. The study cited the growth of wildlife industries such as springbok farming in South Africa, red deer in Britain and bison in the United States. wear online