Embryo Transfer Technology in Livestocks - Benefits

The Department of Animal husbandry, Dairies, and Fisheries under the National Mission on Bovine Productivity scheme has undertaken a Mass Embryo Transfer Technology (ETT) programme. The scheme focuses on the conservation and development of indigenous breeds which are given in the below article. This article shares details on the benefits of ETT technology and Rashtriya Gokul’s mission objectives.

Aspirants would find this article very helpful while preparing for the IAS Exam.

Embryo Transfer Technology

Embryo transfer technology (ETT) is a technique by which embryos are collected from a donor female and transferred to recipient females, that act as surrogate mothers for the rest of the pregnancy. It is one of the most important techniques in reproductive biotechnology where male and female genetic material can be used for the faster improvement of livestock. Embryos of indigenous bovines with higher genetic merit can be transferred into the surrogate cows. It is a revolutionary breeding strategy that has led to the faster genetic improvement of cattle.

Embryo Transfer Technology Benefits

  1. This technology will be made available to farmers easily.
  2. This will result in the rapid breeding of indigenous cattle of high genetic merit.
  3. A farmer can get five to six times an increased number of offspring with high genetic merit.
  4. Such calves so obtained will also be free of diseases.

Rashtriya Gokul Mission

The Rashtriya Gokul Mission was launched in December 2014 by the Ministry of Agriculture to develop and conserve indigenous bovine breeds for enhancing productivity and milk production. This will be done through the induction of bulls with high genetic merit for semen production, recording of field performance, setting up Gokul grams, etc. in a scientific way. This is a focussed program under the National Programme for Bovine Breeding and Dairy Development.

Rashtriya Gokul Mission Objectives

A key objective of the scheme is to transfer the embryos of indigenous breeds such as Deoni (Maharashtra), Vechur (Kerala), Red Sindhi (originated in Sindh Province of Pakistan, now found in many different states), Ongole & Punganur (Andhra Pradesh), Gir (Gujarat) and Sahiwal (Punjab/Haryana), Khillar (Maharashtra), Tharparkar (Rajasthan).

  1. Develop and conserve indigenous breeds
  2. Conduct a breed improvement programs for indigenous cattle breeds so that their genetic makeup improves and stock increases.
  3. Increase milk production and productivity.
  4. Upgrade lower cattle breeds using elite indigenous breeds.
  5. Distribute high genetic merit bulls which are also disease-free for natural service.

Frequently Asked Questions about Embryo Transfer Technology in Livestock

What is embryo transfer in livestock?

Embryo washing is performed by transferring embryos into different, clean wells containing holding media. However, techniques to freeze manipulated embryos require improvement. Since 1978, the current preferred and most common method to transfer cattle embryos into synchronized recipients is via nonsurgical techniques.

How does embryo transfer in animals work?

Drugs are used to stimulate ovulation followed by timed insemination. The fertilised embryos are flushed a few days later from the animal and graded. Oocytes may also be collected directly from ovaries and then further developed and fertilized in vitro (outside the animal).

The above details would help candidates prepare for UPSC 2020.

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