February 4, 2023


Chinese scientists create super cow clones with 50% increased milk production



Scientists in China have cloned three "super cow" calves that are expected to produce 50% more milk than the average American cow when fully grown, CBS News reported.


The Northwest University of Agricultural and Forestry Science and Technology in Shaanxi province started the cloning experiment last year. Scientists collected tissue from cows all over China and used the somatic cell nuclear transfer method to create embryos, which were then implanted in surrogate cows.


The scientists said the calves will eventually produce 18 tonnes of milk per year, or 100 tonnes of milk in their lifetime. According to USDA data, the average US cow produces nearly 12 tonnes of milk per year.


The US Food and Drug Administration has said that meat and milk from cloned cows are as safe to eat as food from conventionally bred animals.


The so-called "super cows" were developed using Holstein Friesian cows, a Dutch breed of cattle known for producing more milk than average. Last year, Chinese scientists made headlines for cloning the world's first arctic wolf, but the super cow experiment has been hailed as another significant breakthrough by the researchers, who also noted how heavily China relies on cow imports.


China imports roughly 70% of its dairy cows from other countries in order to meet rising demand for milk and cheese. The country has approximately 6.6 million Holstein Friesian cows, but only five out of every 10,000 are capable of producing high volume of milk.


Yaping Jin, a bovine veterinarian at Northwest A&F who led the experiment, has announced plans to establish a herd of over 1,000 super cows over the next two to three years. The ultimate goal is to address China's dependence on imported dairy cows.


-      CBS News

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