Himalayan yak accepted as food animal by FSSAI

Source: The post is based on the articleHimalayan yak accepted as food animal by FSSAIpublished in The Hindu on 28th November 2022.

What is the News?

The Himalayan Yak has been accepted as a Food Animal by the scientific panel of Food Safety and Standard Authority of India(FSSAI).

What is Himalayan Yak?

Himalayan Yak, scientific name Bos grunniens is a species of long-haired domesticated cattle. 

Geographical distribution: It is found throughout the Himalayan region — Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, North Bengal, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir — while wild Yak is found in Tibet.

Significance: Yak milk is highly nutritious. It is rich in fat and protein and contains many essential minerals. It is also deemed to have medicinal value.

– Yak meat is also considered lean and better than beef.

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Why has the Himalayan Yak been categorized as a food animal?

The Yak population in the country is decreasing at an alarming rate over the years. According to the 2019 Census, India had some 58,000 Yaks, marking a drop of about 25% from the last livestock Census conducted in 2012.

The reason why the yak population is decreasing is that yak farming is less remunerative. The animal’s milk and meat are not part of the conventional meat and dairy industry and are consumed only locally. 

Hence, categorizing it as a Food Animal will make the Yak a part of the conventional milk and meat industry and will help check the decline in its population. It could also encourage more people to take up yak farming.

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