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Cows should be given pills 'to stop them burping'

Cows could be given supplements to stop them burping so much, in a bid to reduce Britain's methane emissions, scientists have said.

Cows could be given supplements to stop them burping so much, in a bid to reduce Britain's methane emissions, scientists have said. Credit: PA

Writing in the journal Nature, Professor Mark Eisler said supplements that include white clover and birdsfoot trefoil could help to stop cows and sheep from burping so much, by altering the balance of bacteria in their stomachs.

Gas from farm animals is thought to be behind a quarter of “man-made” emissions of methane - which is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.

Gas from flatulent cows explodes German farm shed

Cows can produce potentially explosive quantities of methane gas. Credit: DPA

Methane gas from 90 flatulent cows has exploded a German farm shed, damaging the roof and injuring one of the animals, police said.

High levels of the gas had built up in the structure in the central German town of Rasdorf, then "a static electric charge caused the gas to explode with flashes of flames," the force said in a statement.

One cow was treated for burns, a police spokesman added.

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Pensioner trampled to death by herd of cows

A 66-year-old man has died after he was trampled by a herd of cattle in Wiltshire.

It's understood the man and his elderly brother were walking their dog through fields near Turleigh on Monday, when something spooked the cows and they stampeded.

Both men were able to escape from the field but suffered serious chest injuries. The 66-year-old died later in hospital.

For more information on the stampede visit ITV West Country.

Cow shot dead by police in primary school car park

Police who shot dead a runaway cow in a primary school car park in Lincolnshire have defended their actions after a public outcry.

Pupils and staff at Belton Lane Community Primary School in Grantham had already been evacuated when the Belgium blue cow was killed by marksmen on Monday.

The force has since faced criticism for taking such an extreme measure rather than fire a tranquilliser, while a Facebook page has been established in tribute to the cow.

But Lincolnshire Police said the animal became "increasingly distressed and aggressive" and posed a serious risk to the public after escaping from its field and jumping nearby fences.

The decision to shoot the animal dead was taken after consulting with the RSPCA and its owner, the force added.

Scientists to probe cow friendships

How cows make friends is to be investigated in a three-year study. Scientists want to understand more about "social networking" within dairy herds.

Scientists want to understand how cows make friends Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

The aim is to help farmers improve the health and welfare of their cows, thereby increasing milk yields.

For the first stage of the research, high-tech "proximity collars" have been fitted to cows on a farm in Cullompton, Devon.

The collars use radio signals to determine how close one cow is to another, allowing scientists to map the animals' social interactions.