Staff Reporter 

The Department of Livestock (DoL) launched yak semen straws marking a major breakthrough in yak-breeding technology.

It is expected to address inbreeding and the non-availability of breeding bulls in the country.

The semen straw will benefit around 897 yak herders of Bumthang, Gasa, Haa, Lhuentse, Paro, Thimphu, Trashigang, Trashiyangtse and Wangdue, according to a press release from the department.

The implementation of artificial insemination in yaks anticipates “enhanced yak productivity for a sustainable livelihood and economy of yak rearing highland communities.”

Artificial insemination is the process of collecting sperm cells from a male animal and manually depositing them into the reproductive tract of a female.

Currently, there are 38,642 yaks in the country.

The National Dairy Research and Development Centre in Yusipang and the National Highland Research and Development Centre in Bumthang spearheaded the semen collection and cryopreservation programme in August this year.

The programme was supported by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and the Highland Development Programme.

The yak semen straw was launched during the fifth Royal Highland Festival in Laya last month.