Tuesday, 22 August 2023 13:55

Methane inhibitor finally gets the green light

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Bovaer contains 10-25% of 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP) – a chemical that is new to New Zealand. Bovaer contains 10-25% of 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP) – a chemical that is new to New Zealand.

The makers of a feed additive that reduces methane emissions in livestock says the green light from the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is an important step to register it in New Zealand.

DSM global vice president Mark van Nieuwland told Dairy News that they are excited that NZ EPA approved the use of Bovaer in the country.

“This is an important first step on the NZ registration track and eventually will support farmers with their sustainability efforts to lower emissions from livestock, while continuing to nourish the world,” he says.

According to DSM website, Bovaer is already approved for sale in over 40 countries including the EU, the US and Australia.

The NZ Government has come under criticism from farming leaders for the delay in approving Bovaer.

According to the EPA, DSM applied in 2021 to import or manufacture a substance (Bovaer) containing 10-25% of 3-nitrooxypropanol (3-NOP) – a chemical that is new to New Zealand.

DSM says 3-NOP can reduce methane emissions from ruminant animals, including cows, sheep and goats, by 30%.

EPA’s general manager of hazardous substances and new organisms Dr Chris Hill says substances for climate change mitigation are still new to New Zealand and are important for meeting New Zealand’s international obligations under climate agreements.

“This is the country’s first application for a methane inhibitor, so it was important to confirm how 3-NOP would be used and the information we required to carry out an appropriate risk assessment,” says Hill.

EPA says in concentrated forms, 3-NOP can pose significant risks to people and the EPA has put in place rules for safely using the substance.

This application does not cover lower concentrations of 3-NOP likely to be added in the final products used in agriculture or by farmers, and some formulations may require separate EPA approval.

The next stage in getting Bovaer approved for sale within NZ is getting Ministry for Primary Industries approval.

MPI Deputy Director- General Vincent Arbuckle says New Zealand Food Safety has not received an application from DSM to use Bovaer in animals here under the Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) Act, and it’s the company’s choice when to make one.

“It’s important to note that the product is mostly used in housed feeding situations overseas, which differ from New Zealand practices,” says Arbuckle.

More like this

Hope for Bovaer

OPINION: On tackling methane emissions, global animal health giant DSM will be hoping for a more sympathetic reception from the new Government when it comes to Bovaer, its feed additive that reduces methane emissions in livestock.

Bovaer delay

OPINION: While authorities in New Zealand take their time to decide if a feed supplement promising to slash a cow's methane output should enter the New Zealand market, other countries are giving the green light to farmers to use it.


Editorial: Fonterra's U-turn

OPINION: Speaking at the Chinese Business Summit in Auckland last week, Fonterra chief exuecutive Miles Hurrell revealed that his phone was running hot over the weekend.

A winner's view

Kingi Smiler, the chair of Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani (WMI), said after winning the Ahuwhenua Trophy he was both elated and relieved and added it was a tough competition being up against Whakatohera Māori Board.

Farm 4 is number one!

A dairy farm near the settlement of Mangakino has won the prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy for the top Māori dairy farm for 2024.


A good start

The final Global Dairy Trade (GDT) auction for the 2023-24 season augurs well the forecast milk price for the new…

Labour eyes rural votes

Labour Party agriculture spokesperson Jo Luxton is on a mission to win back rural sector votes.

Machinery & Products

Tractor, harvester IT comes of age

Over the last halfdecade, digital technology has appeared to be the “must-have” for tractor and machinery companies, who believe that…

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Well done Kotahi!

OPINION: Fonterra's decision to join forces with other primary sector exporters and launch a supply chain collaboration, Kotahi, is paying…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter