China given Guernsey bull semen for cross-breed trial

Image caption,
Discussions were held on cross-breeding Guernsey cattle with the Holstein breed in China

A donation of bull semen from Guernsey will be sent to China as part of a cattle cross-breeding programme.

The sperm will be used as part of a project to improve the quality of milk from Chinese cows by introducing the Guernsey breed to create a hybrid.

Andrew Casebow, the island's Agricultural and Environmental Advisor, said he attended talks on the issue in Beijing and hailed them as a success.

The semen will be flown to Beijing in liquid nitrogen in the next few months.

Mr Casebow said the initiative could generate business and financial gains for Guernsey.

He said: "Hopefully this will actually just be the start of a really good and productive association with China."

Mr Casebow said: "The officials that we met... all said 'we know the Guernsey cow'... it was in their textbooks."

He added "Apparently at some time in the past, Guernsey cows must have been imported into China and reared in China.

"They must have died out subsequent to the revolution in 1947."

Mr Casebow said he had been invited back to China to speak with officials on a number of issues regarding the Guernsey breed and milk yields.

He said discussions had raised the idea of cross-breeding Guernsey cows with the Holstein breed.

The Guernsey breed is famed for the high quality of its milk, and herds exist in countries such as Japan, South Africa and the US.

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