Gene-editing techniques are being used to create cows that are born without any horns at all.
By suppressing horn growth, scientists hope to create 'safe' cows that pose less of a risk to farmers and the general public. Normally, removing the horns from a regular cow is a difficult and painful process for the animal. Several workers have been killed and others injured in accidents involving cows over the last few years. "It would be very positive to create hornless cows. It would save a lot of time for us and pain for the calf. Everybody wins," said Mansel Raymond, chairman of the National Farmers' Union Dairy Board for England and Wales.
The technique involves a new form of genetic engineering that enables scientists to make precise changes to DNA. "This would be a major advance in animal welfare," said Professor Geoff Simm.
"Researchers are using gene-editing techniques to insert a DNA patch into the genome of Holsteins, Britain's foremost dairy breed, to suppress horn growth."
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