China’s state-affiliated media reported Tuesday that scientists have cloned three milking cows to produce unusually high levels of milk.
Three calves were born in Ningxia by a team of scientists from Northwest University of Agricultural and Forestry Science and Technology just before the Chinese New Year.
The calves were cloned using “super cows”, which are unusually productive cows that can produce 18 metric tons and 100 tons of milk each year
The average American milk-producing cow produces 10.8 metric tonnes of milk each year. This is compared to according to the latest US Department of Agriculture figures.
Only five out of 10,000 Chinese cattle breeds can produce the same amount of milk as super cows.
According to Jin Yaping, the project leader, it is difficult to breed super cows after their deaths, as they are not designated as such at the end.
Jin stated that his team “reincarnated the super cows” to boost China’s milk production , which is struggling to meet domestic demand due to rising feed costs.
Jin’s team used the tissue from the cows’ ears to create 120 embryos. 42% were successfully immunized in surrogate cows. 17.5% remained fertile after 200 day.
According to the outlet, scientists pointed out that one of the calves had exactly the same skin pattern as its predecessor.
Jin stated that it would take Jin two to three years for a herd consisting of more than 1,000 super cows to be built.
Insider reached Jin but did not receive a response immediately.