Cool Cows (EnviroCow+): Accelerated breeding for low methane emissions and high feed efficiency

Project Details


The primary objective of this work is to facilitate a step change in the use of genomic and reproductive technologies to deliver solutions to the global climate emergency. Agriculture contributes 18.5% of total GHG emissions and 45% of
methane emissions in Scotland, so has an important role to play in meeting government and industry commitments to reduce carbon emissions. We need to produce milk more carbon-efficiently, with minimal environmental impact, which is best achieved through genetic improvement.
The project will demonstrate a unique combination of reproductive technologies (OPU-IVP-ET) and new genomic tools which can, for the first time, be used to to select genetics primarily for reduced methane production whilst maintaining
production to produce a number of highly productive, highly methane-efficient cattle.
This project will lead to the breeding and live birth of a number of highly productive and methane-efficient calves following genetic selection as calves, embryo production by IVP, and embryo transfer. This will form a nucleus herd that will be the basis for further expansion, component research to understand the physiological mechanisms underpinning low methane
emissions, and as the basis for knowledge exchange with the animal breeding and reproductive technology industries, as well as with dairy farmers.
AcronymCool Cows
Effective start/end date1/10/2330/09/25

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


  • dairy cow
  • methane
  • feed efficiency
  • breeding


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