China says it successfully cloned 3 highly productive ‘super cows’

Hong Kong

Chinese scientists have successfully cloned three “super cows” that can produce unusually high amounts of milk, state media reported, in a bid to reduce China’s dairy industry’s reliance on imported breeds. It has been declared as a progress.

The three calves, raised by scientists from Northwest University of Agricultural and Forestry Science and Technology, were born in the Ningxia region in the weeks before the Lunar New Year on January 23.

They were cloned from highly productive cows of the Holstein Friesian breed, which originated in the Netherlands. The selected animals are capable of producing 18 tons or 100 tons of milk per year in their lifetime.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that’s about 1.7 times the amount of milk an average cow will produce in the United States in 2021.

The first of the cloned calves was born by cesarean section on Dec. 30 because of its relatively large size at 56.7 kilograms (120 pounds), an official in Wulan, Ningxia city, told the state-run Technology Daily.

According to Technology Daily, scientists created 120 cloned embryos from the ear cells of highly productive cows and placed them into surrogate cows.

Jin Yaping, the project’s lead scientist, called the birth of the “super cows” a “breakthrough” that allows China to preserve the best cows “in an economically feasible way,” the state-run Global Times reported.

Only five out of 10,000 cows in China can produce 100 tons of milk in their lifetime, making them a valuable source of breeding stock. But some highly productive cows are not identified until late in their lives, making it difficult to breed them, Jin said.

According to the Global Times, 70 percent of China’s dairy cows are imported from abroad.

“We plan to take two to three years to develop a herd of more than 1,000 super cows as a strong foundation to address China’s dependence on overseas dairy cows and the risk of ‘choking’. On. [by supply chain disruptions]” who told the newspaper.

In many countries, including the United States, farmers cross-breed clones with traditional animals to add desirable traits, such as higher milk production or disease resistance, to the gene pool.

China has made significant progress in animal cloning in recent years.

Last year, a Chinese animal cloning company created the world’s first cloned arctic wolf.

In 2017, Chinese scientists said they had developed cloned cattle with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis, a threat to livestock in many countries.

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