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Can cows take the heat? Scientists developing a heat-resistant variety

The Brangus breed of cattle are better able to adapt to hot humid conditions.American scientists are studying why and developing new cow varieties better adapted to a warming world.

health Updated: Jul 02, 2017 17:22 IST
Malavika Vyawahare
Malavika Vyawahare
A majority of cattle live in hot and humid parts of the world, according to researchers developing heat-resistant breeds.(HT File photo)

As cow controversies continue to simmer in India, in the U.S. scientists are working to develop heat resistant varieties of cows. The Brangus cow is a cross between the Angus and the Brahman breed of cattle.

They are being touted as the “cows of the future” because they are better able to adapt to hot humid conditions, and the future of the planet is according to a scientific consensus much warmer.

“This offers a powerful new approach to address the challenges of climate change and develop climate-smart productive cattle for a future, hotter world,” said Raluca Mateescu, an associate professor at the University of Florida, is part of a team that received a three-year, $733,000 grant for the research.

The Brahman cattle, has its origins, unsurprisingly, in India. It was first bred in the United States by cross-breeding varieties from Gujarat, Ongole that are native to Andhra Pradesh, Gir and Krishna Valley. The Angus variety is of Scottish origin and is commonly used for beef production. The Brangus is three parts Brahman and five parts Angus.

A majority of the cattle in the world live in hot and humid conditions. The scientists will be investigating which regions in DNA segments from the two breeds play a key role in regulating body temperature. The research aims at producing cows that are not only able to survive in hotter conditions but also produce superior quality beef.

(With PTI inputs)

First Published: Jul 02, 2017 17:22 IST