of China Australia Food Security Cooperation Initiative (CAFSCI)

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Mineral response in Tibetan livestock

Overview of Project


A survey undertaken in 2005 determined the mineral nutrition status of pregnant sheep, lactating cattle and yaks in the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) of China. The survey team found that livestock were at risk from a number of mineral deficiencies, especially sodium, phosphorus, copper and selenium, with selenium status being particularly low. These mineral deficiencies could be contributing to the poor to moderate condition of the livestock in TAR, with marginal deficiencies resulting in reductions in growth rate, wool production, fertility and milk production, while severe deficiencies resulted in rapid weight loss and increased mortality. The economic and social costs of these disorders are difficult to assess, particularly since marginal disorders are not readily identified in the field and in addition, there is a dearth of information on the response to supplementation.


Objective 1: To refine information on the mineral nutrition status of livestock in the 4 major livestock production regions of TAR.

Objective 2: To determine the response to selenium, copper and iodine supplementation in sheep and to selenium and copper in yaks.

Objective 3: To build the research capacity and extension capability of TAAAS personnel."


Project Dates

01 Jan 2007 - 31 Dec 2010


Tibet Academy of Agricultural and Animal Sciences - China
Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences - China
Murdoch University - Australia


Professor Nick Costa



08 9360 2485

Launch Website