CBC Chat Forum Thread

AuthorTopic: Cows, Good or Bad
Chris Wheeler Cows, Good or Badposted at 15/12/2018 16:49:46

I have a feeling that Tom Green, knowing my views, aimed the dilemma of ‘cows good or bad’ in the latest Newsletter at me. As no one has taken up the challenge so far I thought I had better jump in.
It is a challenge which all of us who have concerns about our rapidly diminishing wildlife should be taking up.
What Tom was talking about was the dilemma between a recent report in the media about cows and other ruminants belching methane gas and an article in the November British Birds magazine by Ian Newton on the importance of the insect life associated with grazing animals entitled ‘In praise of cow dung’.
The argument lies between an Uncertain Science which suggests all manner dreadful things that are projected to happen in the future including belching ruminants contributing to the destruction of our planet and a Certain Science that looks at the facts of what is actually happening now under our very noses now and chooses to find solutions to the problems particularly those associated with the rapid decline of our birds and other wildlife.
Ian Newton’s article is a case in point and it highlights the benefits provided by insects and other invertebrates which naturally break down the dung issuing from our grazing livestock. These are now in catastrophic decline because of drugs used to treat gut parasites in the animals.  It is rather sobering to learn that before the advent of these drugs studies showed that in five years each cow or bullock kept outside on pasture can produce from its dung its own weight in insects
As in the case of vultures and the diclofenac drug, less damaging solutions can surely be found.

Kath & Mick Claydon Cows, Good or Badposted at 21/12/2018 14:04:23

I agree there's a dilemma here.  My general feeling is that the alternatives to cows/grazing livestock could create an even worse situation.  As for diclofenac, this is a big problem which has been going on for many years with apparently very little attention being paid to it. 

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