of China Australia Food Security Cooperation Initiative (CAFSCI)

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Mineral nutrition of livestock in Tibet (I & II)

Overview of Project

Livestock production is the predominant industry in Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), with significant numbers of yaks, cattle, horses, sheep and goats raised under various production systems. Little was known about the mineral and trace element status of these animals, although it was suspected that they were at risk from iodine and selenium deficiency. The investigation was intended provide a comprehensive assessment of the mineral and trace element status of livestock and identify any of these nutrients that may limit livestock productivity in TAR. The study involved scientists from the Tibet Academy of Agricultural and Animal Sciences (TAAAS), the Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS) and Australia.

Key Outcomes of Project

"In general, livestock were in moderate to poor condition and pastures were of poor quality (indicated by low protein content). The team identified that the low levels of some major and trace minerals may limit livestock productivity. In view of the range of mineral deficiencies that may be limiting livestock productivity the team recommended that it would be of value to the livestock industry for Tibetan scientists to undertake a training program in the detection and correction of mineral disorders. Experiments were needed to determine the magnitude of the response to mineral supplementation, measured by increases in milk or wool production or body weight gain, and to determine the most cost-effective method of providing these mineral supplements. "

Project Dates

11 Aug 2003 - 30 Jun 2005


Tibet Academy of Agricultural and Animal Sciences


Dr Geoff Judson



08 8271 6542

Launch Website