Department of Animal Health and Production, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nigeria,
Reginald Ikechukwu Obidike
Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Nigeria
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Probiotics have been shown to promote growth and improve efficiency of feed utilization in farm animals. Climate change is a serious issue of global environmental concern. It has been reported that increased anthropogenic Greenhouse gas (GHG) have significantly increased the global temperature in the last two centuries. These global temperature increases are due mainly to increases in levels of GHG, principally carbon dioxide (CO2) methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O).
Recent research reports indicate that methane is a very important GHG since in terms of global warming; it has an effect that is 21 times that of carbon dioxide. It has been observed that enteric methane from livestock constitute about 65% of total agricultural GHG emissions which has made livestock industries highly vulnerable to carbon trading systems in which a financial penalty is tagged depending on the level of GHG emission.
It has also been reported that supplementation of ruminant feeds with probiotics such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae significantly reduced the level of methane emission. The mechanism of the probiotic rumen bioengineering is thought to be mediated through microbial stimulation, oxygen sequestration and pH modulation.
In view of the above considerations, research and publication efforts should be geared towards intensification of probiotic1s supplementation in livestock feeds especially ruminants diets. This will go a long way to achieve two great objectives of crucial importance to humanity namely, increased animal production and reduced global warming.