Himalayan Yak : Approved As Food Animal
The Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has approved the Himalayan Yak as a ‘food animal’.
- The move is expected to help check decline in the population of the high-altitude bovine animal by making it a part of the conventional milk and meat industry.
- Food Animals are those that are raised and used for food production or consumption by humans.
- The Yak belongs to the Bovini tribe, which also includes bison, buffaloes, and cattle. It can tolerate temperatures as low as-40 degrees Celsius.
- Adapted for living at high altitudes, they have long hair that hangs off their sides like a curtain, sometimes touching the ground.
- Yaks are highly valued by Himalayan peoples. According to Tibetan legend, the first yaks were domesticated by Tibetan Buddhism founder Guru Rinpoche.
- They are also known as the lifeline of pastoral nomads in high altitudes of the Indian Himalayan region.
- Yaks are traditionally reared under a transhumance system which is primitive, unorganised and full of hardship.
- They are endemic to the Tibetan Plateau and the adjacent high-altitude regions.
- Yaks are most comfortable above 14,000 feet.
- They climb to an elevation of 20,000 feet when foraging and usually don’t descend any lower than 12,000 feet.
- The yak-rearing states of India are Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir.