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Scientists in Indian-controlled Kashmir clone Pashmina goat

(Xinhua)

11:02, March 16, 2012

SRINAGAR, Indian-controlled Kashmir, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Scientists in Indian-controlled Kashmir have cloned the first Pashmina goat, officials said Thursday.

The research efforts were undertaken to increase the numbers of this goat to boost Pashmina trade in this region.

"Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry at the Sheri-Kashmir University of Agriculture Sciences and Technology in Srinagar has made a breakthrough by successfully cloning the first Pashmina goat using the advanced reproductive techniques under the leadership of Riaz Ahmad Shah and his team," a statement issued by the University said.

"The university appreciated the team of scientists for this remarkable achievement and hoped that the technology will help to improve lots of Pashmina goats particularly in the Ladakh region to harness better income opportunities for the people of the region," it said.

Pashmina, a fine wool, is obtained from the fleece of Pashmina goat - Capra Hircus - found in Himalayas.

Officials said the healthy female kid was born on March 9 using the foster mother.

Pashmina goats are found in parts of the Himalayas and the Tibetan plateau. In Indian-controlled Kashmir, they are found in the upper reaches of Ladakh region. The goats shed the wool found on its fleece. The wool is then spun through a tedious manual process to produce finest quality of Pashmina. In the west, Pashmina and its variants are called Cashmere, a name inspired by Kashmir.

Officials said the research to successfully clone the goat took two years.

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