Buffalo beauty contest held in Pakistan

By News from Elsewhere...
...as found by BBC Monitoring

image source, Wikimedia/Jugni
image captionThe light-skinned Azikheli buffalo are especially suited to cold mountainous areas

Around 200 animals have taken part in a competition to find Pakistan's most beautiful Azikheli buffalo.

Farmers and breeders gathered in Mingora, the capital of Pakistan's northern Swat district, for the three-day event to promote the breed, the Dawn newspaper reports. The event was funded by USAID, the American government's civilian foreign aid agency, which stumped up the first prize of 75,000 rupees ($715; £558).

The money was won by Laiq Badar, who is justifiably happy with his herd. "I have 10 buffaloes of the same breed which are the source of our livelihood. Today, I am proud that my buffalo won the first prize," he told Dawn.

Speaking to the official Associated Press of Pakistan news agency, Livestock Ministry official Muhibullah Khan said that the Azikheli breed faced extinction, and that the objective behind this event was to "create awareness among people about the importance of breeding this beautiful animal". It's the first time that a buffalo beauty competition has been held in Pakistan.

The Azikheli buffalo is only found in Swat, and it's said to be the only breed adapted to the region's cold weather, meaning that owners don't have to sell or slaughter them when winter approaches. According to Dawn, experts at the Mingora beauty competition said that the breed was not only beautiful "but it also produced more milk and better meat".

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