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Researchers potty train cows in order to fight climate change

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Photo by: Wayne Hutchinson/Farm Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

By now, everyone knows how deadly cow farts are.

In hyperventilating report after panic-mongering exposé, climate alarmists have attempted to scare the world into fearing for their lives and heading to their fainting couches over that threat bovine flatulence poses to life as we know it.

But did you know that cows' piddle can be as bad as their toots?

True story — but according to researchers at the Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology, in Dummerstorf, Germany, there is a way to battle this cattle scourge, Radio New Zealand reported Tuesday:

Potty training.

What's that now?

According to the New York Post, "[t]he ammonia in cow urine is a known greenhouse gas as it produces nitrous oxide when released into the soil."

Some researchers believe that livestock farming is responsible for 10% of the world's greenhouse gases, the paper said.

Researchers at the German research institute, including Lindsay Matthews and Douglas Elliffe had a bright idea: Get the cows to use the john.

Matthews and Elliffe told RNZ that they have discovered that cows can be trained to use a toilet, of sorts, which could help ranchers cut down on water contamination and greenhouse gases.

The team was able to train 11 of 16 calves in the program to pee in a specific "MooLoo" area within a few weeks, Matthews claimed. This allowed researchers to capture the nitrogen in the urine before it got into the water or turned into nitrous oxide.

RNZ reported that the cows were put in a specific latrine pen that was painted a different color in order to set it apart from other pens. When the calves urinated in the MooLoo pen, they were given special food rewards.

If the cows had an "accident" and urinated outside the MooLoo, they were squirted with cold water.

"This is how some people train their children — they put them on the toilet, wait for them to pee, then reward them if they do it," Matthews told RNZ. "Turns out it works with calves too. In very short order, five or 10 urinations for some animals, they demonstrated they understood the connection between the desired behavior and the reward by going to the feeder as soon as they started urinating."

"Very quickly, within 15 to 20 urinations on average, the cows would self-initiate entry to the toilet," Matthews added. "This is very exciting because it means they were paying attention to their bladder getting fuller."

By the end of the potty training, the 11 of 16 calves who could be trained, Matthews said, were "doing three-quarters of their urinations in the toilet."

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