Livestock and enteric methane

© FAO/Raphy Favre

Best practices

Farmers and other livestock stakeholders can adopt several interventions to address methane emissions. These measures are mainly production-side and relate to farm management and include feed and nutrition, animal health and husbandry, renewable energy production (biomethane), and animal genetics and breeding. Other interventions can be demand-side such as the adoption of healthy dietary choices.

Governments, private sector and other livestock stakeholder must work together to adopt intervention strategies to reduce enteric methane emissions. They should also design incentives package to foster the adoption of best practices and engage with farmers and producers’ groups to raise awareness on livestock and climate change. With FAO support, different livestock stakeholders are mitigating the environmental impacts of livestock and integrating livestock-specific interventions in their climate actions. 


Feed and nutrition
Improving grazing management on grasslands and pastures using high-quality forage, supplemented with concentrates and feed additives, can help increase feed digestibility and reduce methane emissions. Paddock rotation, adoption of adequate stocking rate, feed ration balancing combined with adequate feed preparation and preservation are indispensable measures to improve feed and nutrition, while increasing animal performance and productivity.
Animal health and husbandry
Combining herd management with nutrition and feeding management strategies is key to improve animal health and husbandry. Endemic diseases can have a number of negative outcomes, including death or cull of previously healthy animals, reduced live-weight gain, reduced milk yield and quality, reduced fertility, abortion and/or increased waste in the system. Reducing the incidence of such diseases will generally result in healthier and more productive animals.
Animal genetics and breeding

Genetic selection for local conditions and improved breeding management practices can help improve the production efficiency of ruminants. Breeding can help adapt animals to local conditions and address issues associated with reproduction, vulnerability to stress, adaptability to climate change, and disease incidence. Improving the reproduction rates and extending the reproductive life of the animal is key to reducing methane emissions.