“The Government has been busy threatening farmers with emissions pricing but has failed to make progress on actual technology to lower methane emissions. Bovaer has been languishing on the Environmental Protection Agency’s waiting list for more than two years,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.
“Bovaer is a methane reducing bolus that is thought to be able to reduce methane emissions by up to 70 per cent. Written Parliamentary Questions released to ACT show that Bovaer has been sitting on the EPA’s application list since 5 February 2021.
“The Government is well aware of the benefits of the technology, in November 2022 Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor allocated $7.8 million to the company producing the bolus, saying “This will not only help us reach our emissions reductions targets, but will set New Zealand up as a leader in the methane inhibitor industry globally.”
“Farmers actually need to be able to use it for it to make a difference, Minister. Labour wants to tax the most emissions efficient farmers in the world through He Waka Eke Noa, but is keeping the tools to reduce emissions under lock and key.
“The EPA says that it takes an average of 222 working days to process an application. Why is something that is deemed so important taking so long? The OIA’d application shows that it is assessed as being of low-negligible risk to human, animal, and environmental health.
“Genetic engineering laws are also out of date. Innovations like AgResearch’s High Metabolisable Energy ryegrass, which has the potential to reduce livestock methane emissions by around 15 per cent and ensure less nitrogen is excreted into the environment, are illegal here.
“If the Government is serious about reducing agricultural emissions it should be looking at solutions like this. It clearly just wants to lump farmers into an emissions pricing scheme though, something only ACT is vocally opposed to.
“ACT will continue to advocate for a technology before tax approach that keeps our farmers at the pinnacle of global agriculture.”