As many as 100,000 heifers from Uruguay, Australia and New Zealand will board multistory live cattle-carrying ships this year. The ships are headed to China in what is being called one of the largest transoceanic cattle drives in history, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The export of live cattle is supposedly key to China's effort to quench an increase in domestic demand for milk and revolutionize dairies in China after a deadly tainted-milk scandal. The 2008 milk scandal devastated production and lowered consumer confidence, causing customers to buy imported milk.
While Chinese cows are only half as productive as their American cousins, China has a goal of becoming a top milk producer in the world, according to allaboutfeed.com.
Meanwhile, the live cattle supply in China is expected to stay plentiful for several more years. However, Chinese dairies continue to try and meet government production targets that could eventually move China away from imported milk.
"We have to solve our dairy problem ourselves," said Deng Jiuqiang, the millionaire founder and chairman of China Modern Dairy, which has quickly become the country's largest milk producer, according to allaboutfeed.com.
by RTT Staff Writer
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