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Showing posts from June, 2015

India's next weapon against climate change? The heat-tolerant dwarf cow

THIRUVANANDHAPURAM, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Worsening heat, fodder shortages and the threat of drought are forcing many hard-hit dairy farmers in the Anantapur area of India's southern Kerala state to reduce their herds, experts say.

"This is nothing less than a catastrophe," said Ananthakrishnan Kannappan, a livestock agent for 30 years in Anantapur. "This is the first time that due to lack of water and fodder, farmers are eagerly competing to sell off their livestock for throwaway prices."

But the solution to the problem is simple and small, livestock experts argue: heat-tolerant dwarf cows.
A team of researchers from Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University and the state government's Animal Husbandry Department are now promoting a switch to Vechur and Kasargod cattle, two local varieties known for being easy to raise, resistant to diseases and – most important – better at tolerating high temperatures than the more popular…