Govt to import Gir bull semen from Brazil

Gandhinagar: The state government has decided to import from Brazil 10,000 doses of Gir bull semen as the cow population of this prestigious breed has declined in Gujarat.
Interestingly, the bulls whose semen are to be imported are descendants of those gifted to Brazil as a goodwill gesture by the maharaja of Bhavnagar before Independence.

Gir cows have long been the pride of Gujarat with their very high milk yield. The obsession with Jersey cows and indiscriminate breeding has led to the decline of Gir cow population in the state to nearly seven lakh out of the two crore milk-giving breeds.
Brazil, on the other hand, was careful to preserve the breed and now has a sizable population of Gir breed cows and bulls.

Mona Khandhar, secretary, the animal husbandry department, said, “Scientifically selected bull semen is being imported from Brazil for artificial insemination to increase the number of native breeds namely Gir and Kankrej. The government has also granted Rs 50 lakh for this project.” Ironically , the move has not gone down well with the state’s own Gau Seva Ayog (Cow Welfare Commission) that suspects Gir cows and bulls of Brazil may no longer be a pure breed.

 Dr Vallabh Kathiriya, chairman, Gau Seva Ayog, claimed that Gujarat has enough good quality Gir bulls.”We have started giving a bull to every village panchayat in an effort to increase the number of Gir cows. There is no need to import semen from Brazil,” he said.
Other experts, however, believe that there is no risk in importing semen from Brazil.Dr K B Kathiriya, head of research department, Anand Agriculture University , said the chances of increasing the population of Gir breed cows through artificial insemination is close to 90%.
source,Feb ,2016

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