Chinese scientists have successfully cloned three “super cows” capable of producing an unusually large amount of milk, according to state media, hailing the achievement as a breakthrough for China’s dairy industry in reducing its reliance on imported breeds.
The three calves were born in the Ningxia region in the weeks leading up to the Lunar New Year on January 23, according to the state-run Ningxia Daily. They were bred by scientists from the Northwest University of Agricultural and Forestry Science and Technology.
They were cloned from highly productive Holstein Friesian cows that originated in the Netherlands. The chosen animals can produce 18 tons of milk per year, or 100 tons of milk over the course of their lives.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, that is nearly 1.7 times the amount of milk produced by an average cow in the United States in 2021.
The first of the cloned calves was born by cesarean section on December 30 due to its relatively large size of 56.7 kilograms (120 pounds), according to an official in the Ningxia city of Wulin, according to the state-run Technology Daily.