Canberra, October 1 : The climate change adviser of the Prime Minister of Australia has said that instead of beef and lamb, people should eat kangaroo meat to help combat climate change.
According to a report in The Australian, Professor Ross Garnaut, climate change adviser to Aussie PM Kevin Rudd, has suggested in his final report on climate change that Australia's farmers should switch to the low-emission meat.
He also suggested that Australian families should give up beef and eat more kangaroo.
"Sheep and cattle production is highly vulnerable to the biophysical impacts of climate change, such as water scarcity," said Garnaut.
"Australian marsupials emit negligible amounts of methane from enteric fermentation. This could be a source of international comparative advantage for Australia in livestock production," he added.
"For most of Australia's human history of around 60,000 years, kangaroo was the main source of meat. It could again become important," he further added.
Professor Garnaut notes there are some barriers to this change, including livestock and farm-management issues, consumer resistance and the gradual nature of change in food tastes.
According to Michael Mulligan, president of the Kangaroo Industry Association, the animal, which is the national symbol, had become a "more and more accepted everyday meat".
Professor Garnaut said that researchers have modeled the potential for kangaroos to replace sheep and cattle for meat production in Australia's rangelands, where kangaroos are already harvested.
"They conclude that by 2020, beef cattle and sheep numbers in the rangelands could be reduced by seven million and 36 million respectively, and that this would create the opportunity for an increase in kangaroo numbers from 34 million today to 240million by 2020," he said.