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In a statement released on January 31, scientists in China said they had cloned three cows that can produce unusually high amounts of milk.
Specifically, three calves were born on January 22 in Ningxia by a team of researchers from the Northwest University of Agro-Forestry Science and Technology, just before the start of the Lunar New Year.
The above-mentioned calves are cloned from “super cows”, which are unusually high yielding cows that can produce 18 tons of milk per year and 100 tons of milk in their lifetime. By comparison, the average cow in the US, which is famous for its milk production, can only produce about 10.8 tons of milk a year, according to the latest figures from the US Department of Agriculture.
Chinese scientists say only five of the 10,000 common cow breeds in China can produce so much milk that it is considered a “super cow”. And because cattle are only considered super cows at the end of their life cycle, it’s difficult to breed them after they’ve been identified, according to Jin Yaping, head of the breeding project. In addition, because the cows are scattered on farms across the country, breeding is also technically difficult.
However, Jin says his team has found a way to “regenerate” these super cows in a bid to help boost China’s domestic milk production. This is an area that is facing difficulties in meeting the increasing demand for milk in this billion-population country. China is now heavily dependent on cattle imports from Europe.
The scientists used tissue from cows’ ears to create an initial batch of 120 cloned embryos. 42% of them were successfully inseminated in surrogate cows, and 17.5% were still fertile after 200 days, according to the report. The Global Times news.
The first calf weighed 56.7 kg, was 76 cm tall and 113 cm long at birth, and had the exact same shape and skin pattern as the cloned target.
According to Jin, the new method means that people can promptly conserve the genes of these super cows, create a concentrated super cow herd, and provide significant resources for breeding and selecting super cows. China’s monopoly cow in the future.
“We plan to take 2-3 years to build a herd of more than 1,000 super cows”the scientist said.
In recent years, China has prioritized self-sufficiency in key crops and livestock and doubled down on investments in breeding technology in an effort to increase food security. As a result, major breakthroughs have been made in key crop areas such as corn, soybeans, broilers and piglets, helping to reduce dependence on imports from abroad.
Reference BI, Global Times
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