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Reducing Farm Emissions Far from Certain

Reducing Farm Emissions Far from Certain

New Zealand farms are complex biological and environmental systems and developing solutions for farmers that do not pose risks to economic viability, animal welfare and consumer acceptance is no easy task, says Federated Farmer's National Board Member John Aspinall.

"Simplistic comments such as the best way of reducing farm greenhouse gas emissions is to reduce stock number are not new and are hardly worth reporting, said Mr Aspinall.

"It is ridiculous in an agricultural trading nation that we could even be discussing such simplistic solutions. The real message that is coming from the joint Australia / New Zealand Greenhouse Gas Workshop is that whatever tools there are they have uncertain costs and involve potentially long time frames involved.

"For example Dr Marc Ulyatt has told the workshop that while there has been extensive research into food additives there were problems with acceptance, delivery and toxicity.

"Take for instance the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation proposed livestock vaccine it will not be available by 2008 which is the start of the first commitment period. They have not even addressed meat withholding periods, animal welfare, economic viability and consumer acceptance of the vaccine.

"Climate change issues must be addressed but people need to remember that the Kyoto Protocol is not the only game in town. The Government's unwillingness to address policy solutions before ratification now poses a grave threat to the economic prosperity of all New Zealanders.

"The Government would do well to remember that when farmers prospers New Zealand prospers."

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