Young cows have learned to urinate in a dedicated “latrine” that whisks the waste away before it can pollute waterways or trigger the release of harmful gases.
Nitrates from livestock urine can contaminate groundwater, potentially threatening human health. What’s more, nitrous oxide that arises when livestock urine and faeces mix can cause respiratory problems and contribute to global warming.
By training cattle to void directly into a sort of “cow toilet”, however, Lindsay Matthews at the University of Auckland in New Zealand and his colleagues have potentially found a way to keep water and air cleaner, improving health and welfare for both humans and animals.
Matthews’s team taught 16 5-month-old…