A detailed plan for New Zealand to meet its climate-change targets includes reducing cow numbers by 15 per cent.
Dairy production and exports are a major money earner for the country.
The goal for cows is included with proposals to end imports of cars powered by gasoline or diesel and to have half the nation’s cars running on electricity by 2035.
To reduce methane gas levels, the report said farmers needed to improve animal performance while reducing stock numbers by around 15 percent from 2018 levels by 2030.
“If farmers can continue to achieve productivity improvements in line with historic trends, these outcomes could be achieved while maintaining total production at a similar level to today,” the report said.