Spray switch in tail aims to reduce nitrogen-leaching

Summit-Quinphos, an agricultural company in New Zealand worried at the amount of nitrogen leaching from pasture, has invented a spray device to attach to the tails of cattle.


The Tail-Activated Urine-Incorporation of Nitrogen Extender (TAURINE) will fire a blast of nitrogen inhibitor into the urine patch every time the beast lifts its tail to answer the call of nature.

A switch mounted under the tail triggers spraycans attached to the animal’s ankle.

Jamie Blennerhasset of Summit-Quinphos insists the development is bona fide: “I can confirm that it is actually real. We have working models.”

Blennerhasset added that the device need not be worn by the cow all year, as nitrogen-leaching rates varied seasonally.

It’s April Fools Day, but these New Zealand newspapers posted the story a few days ago (it still sounds like a joke, tho’): Stuff and The New Zealand Herald.

Read about one of the best hoaxes in history.