March 7, 2016
Pakistan imports 300 US dairy cows after 12-year ban
After closing its market to imports of US live cattle in 2003 due to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease) concerns, Pakistan has welcomed over 300 American heifers, which arrived in Punjab province on March 2.
The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) said most of the dairy cows had been purchased by commercial dairy farms, but that 73 Holsteins would be delivered to a new model dairy farm that FAS has established to support the fast-growing Pakistani dairy industry.
FAS added that Pakistan's adoption of intensive production practices is expected to be a good fit for higher-producing American breeds. "Similarly, additional training in herd management and health practices will enable herd managers to make the most of the genetic potential of US cows."
FAS has collaborated with Pakistan's University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) to establish the model dairy farm with funding support from the US Agency for International Development.
The Pattoki Training and Research Demonstration Farm in Punjab will train Pakistani students, herd managers, and extension agents. FAS is also working with the Mississippi State University to teach better herd management to UVAS staff and faculty in order to help their Holsteins thrive in Pakistan's warm climate.
Pakistan reopened its market to US cattle last year based on the US' classification by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) as a negligible risk country for BSE.
Pakistan is among the world's largest dairy producers. Most of its dairy production comes from small, traditional farms, but modern, commercial dairies are starting to come online, as are high-yield livestock management practices.