Sheep That Don’t Burp

The Sheep Cooperative Research Centre, in Australia, is conducting a study to better understand sheep burps. Dr Roger Hegarty, one of the scientists leading the effort, says that “methane is the exhaust from livestock” and sheep burps large amounts of this gas. Pressures related to environmental impact of methane emissions are driving scientists to find creative ways to reduce the animal’s carbon footprint.  

“We’re looking into how to reduce emissions from sheep – all over Australia teams are testing different approaches: changing the microbes in the gut, changing their diet, or changing the genetics of the animal,” he said. “Our sheep studies are (primarily) aiming to find out if there is genetic control over methane production and, if so, is that a good thing to pursue?”

Similar efforts are being developed for beef cattle, another very important source of methane emissions.

For more information, read the article “Burp-less sheep to help tackle climate change” published at


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