To control strays, Centre pushes new technology to produce only female calves

3 min read

News:The Centre has found an innovative solution to control stray animal population.It is implementing the sex-sorting semen technology for artificial insemination which will produce only female animals.

Facts:

About Sexed Semen:

  • Sexed semen technology is about preselecting the sex of offspring by sorting or separating the X-sperms from Y-sperms.
  • The aim is to deliver freedom from male calves by ensuring that cows are inseminated by semen containing only X-chromosome-bearing sperms.This will ensure that only a female calf is born.

How does this process works?

  • The reproductive system of cattle is similar to humans.Cows carry XX chromosomes while bull semen carries both X and Y.
  • If the egg fertilized with an ‘X’ chromosome,a female calf is born and if with ‘Y’, a male is born.
  • There are two techniques to produce sexed semen (a)One is the ‘sorting process’ in which ‘X’ and ‘Y’ chromosomes are separated. ‘X’ are retained and ‘Y’ discarded and (b)The other is in which ‘Y’ chromosomes are altogether killed.
  • After this,Cows are impregnated using sexed semen through the artificial insemination process with consumption of one straw per cow.
  • Artificial insemination is the technique in which semen with living sperm is collected from the male and introduced into female reproductive tract at the proper time with the help of instruments.

Significance of this method:

  • This method is being used as male calves are considered a financial burden.They are either killed or abandoned on the roads by farmers as they do not give milk.
  • This has led to an increasing number of cattle roaming the streets which has caused fatal road accidents as well.
  • Hence,this technology would help dairy farmers ensure production of only female calves which would eventually put an end to the practice of abandoning the male calves that later posing a major threat to human life in the form of the stray cattle.