03/29/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Australian Researchers Strive To Make Cows Belch Less

In August, Australian environment scientists said it would be better if citizens ate Kangaroo meat:

Removing seven million cattle and 36 million sheep by 2020 and replacing them with 175 million kangaroos, to produce the same amount of meat, could lower national greenhouse gases by 3 percent a year, said the University of New South Wales study.

Evidently, that wasn't so popular.

Now that that hasn't caught on, Australian researchers are tasked with getting cows to belch less methane into the atmosphere:

Researchers will explore changing diets and chemical and biological controls of stomach bacteria to reduce methane production, as well as genetic approaches such as selective breeding.

"We will invest in science to ensure that productivity grows while the industry adapts to lower emissions, particularly as the world food shortage continues," Burke said.

The government's top climate change advisor, Professor Ross Garnaut, suggested in a major report on global warming last year that one solution would be for Australians to eat more kangaroos and reduce the number of farm animals.