China claims to have cloned 3 'super cows' that can produce more milk

Chinese scientists have managed to successfully clone cows that produce abnormally large amounts of milk.

On Tuesday, Chinese state-affiliated media, Ningxia Daily, reported that right before Chinese New Year this month, the three cloned calves were born in the Ningxia region.

A team from the Northwest University of Agricultural and Forestry Science and Technology have been credited for it.

The calves were cloned from ‘super cows’ that have the ability to produce an unusually large quantity of milk, as reported by the Chinese tabloid The Global Times.

These ‘super cows’ created through a selective breeding process can produce up to 18000 litres of milk per year and 100,000 litres of milk in their lifetimes.

In comparison, as of 2021 a normal cow in the UK produced 8206 litres of milk in a year, according to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs.

Only five in 10,000 of common cattle breeds in China can produce as much milk as a super cow, the scientists told The Global Times.

The project lead, Jin Yaping, told the outlet that his team ‘reincarnated’ the super cows to help bolster China’s local milk production.

Jin’s team used tissue from the cows’ ears to make an initial batch of 120 cloned embryos, 42% of which were successfully impregnated in surrogate cows and 17.5% of which remained fertile after 200 days, The Global Times reported.

‘We plan to take two to three years to build up a herd comprised of over 1,000 super cows,’ Jin told The Global Times.

Despite being the world’s third-largest milk producer, China’s output meets only about 70% of its domestic needs. The country has come to heavily rely on importing cattle from Europe.

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