Cloning of dairy cows in China using nuclear transfer. Author: Taken from twitter
BEIJING, February 2. Chinese scientists have successfully cloned three super cows that can produce unusually large amounts of milk, state media reported, hailing it as a breakthrough in China’s dairy industry to reduce dependence on imported breeds.
Three calves, raised by scientists at the Northwestern University of Agricultural and Forestry Science and Technology, were born in the Ningxia region a few weeks before the Lunar New Year on January 23, state-run Ningxia Daily reported.
They were cloned from high-yielding Holstein-Friesian cows from the Netherlands. Selected animals are capable of producing 18 tons of milk per year or 100 tons of milk in a lifetime.
That’s almost 1.7 times the amount of milk produced by the average US cow in 2021, according to USDA data and CNN comparisons. The first of the cloned calves was born by caesarean section on Dec. 30 due to its relatively large size at 56.7 kg (120 pounds), a Wulin city official told State Technology Daily.
The scientists created 120 cloned embryos from the ear cells of high producing cows and placed them in surrogate cows. Jin Yaping, the project’s lead scientist, called the birth of supercows an important breakthrough that allows China to conserve the best cows in an economically viable way.
“We plan to build a herd of 1,000 super cows in two to three years, which will be a solid foundation for addressing China’s dependence on overseas dairy cows and the risk of exposure to supply chain disruptions,” Jin said.
In many countries, including the United States, farmers breed clones of common animals to add desirable traits, such as high milk yields or disease resistance. In recent years, China has made significant progress in animal cloning. Last year, a Chinese animal cloning company created the world’s first cloned Arctic wolf.
Source: Juventud Rebelde