Italy: 83-year-old cows 'producing milk'

Cows in the mountains

Italian cows can produce milk up to the ripe old age of 83, according to official accounting figures now under investigation by Italian magistrates.

The Corriere Della Sera newspaper reports that an "incorrect algorithm" has been used by a government agency responsible for dispensing EU subsidies to the country's farmers. Instead of putting the productive life of a dairy cow at 120 months, or about 10 years, the formula sets it at 999 months - more than 83 years.

The error increased the size of the national herd by about 300,000 or 20%, reports Corriere Della Sera. The agency in question is facing an investigation after the figures came to light.

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