Agri Business

Uttarakhand imports 240 Merino sheep from Australia to improve breeding

PTI Dehradun | Updated on December 26, 2019 Published on December 26, 2019

Merino sheep. File photo   -  Reuters

The sheep have been imported at a cost of Rs 8.5 crore

The Uttarakhand government has imported 240 Merino sheep from Australia under the National Livestock Mission to improve sheep breeding in the State and increase production of quality wool.

“This is a revolutionary and progressive step which will prove to be a boon for the farmers of the State,” Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said at a press conference here on Thursday.

The high quality Australian breed of sheep will be used for pure line and cross-breeding programmes under a well laid out breeding plan spread over five years, which will rid the state of the problem of inbreeding prevalent among sheep, Rawat said.

High quality germplasm will be made available to sheep breeders through use of modern artificial insemination in sheep and embryo transfer technology.

Through use of technology, the State government aims to increase high quality wool productivity from 558 metric tonnes at present to over 1,000 metric tonnes.

It will also help people in mountainous regions of the state to stay in their villages and engage in sheep breeding as a sustainable economic activity.

The 240 Merino sheep have been imported at a cost of Rs 8.5 crore, and 40 of them are male, while 200 are female, Animal Husbandry Secretary Meenakshi Sundaram said.

They have been quarantined currently at a village in Tehri district. They will be vaccinated in a month against foot and mouth disease and engaged in breeding activity in a phased manner after that, Sundaram added.

Published on December 26, 2019
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