Goats in Turkey Now Have Their Own Sperm Bank

A consortium in Ankara looks to protect the mohair-producing Angora breed.

This just in: Turkey has its first goat sperm bank, to be run by scientists from Ankara University in the country's capital city.

According to Hurryiet Daily News, the initiative was founded through a combination of government research grants, university veterinary staff support, and the backing of Italy's Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (National Research Council).

The goal is to bolster the number of top-quality Angora goats in the country, where the animal's numbers have declined sharply, despite rising in other parts of the world. Farmers will be able to work with the university to use the sperm to raise goats that are considered likely to yield greater amounts of wool.

The Angora goat (Angora is the historical name for Ankara) is a breed of domestic goat whose fleece is the source of mohair, a widely used fabric known for its luster and durability. One goat can produced up to 11 pounds (5 kilograms) of hair each year, with shearings typically taking place twice per year.

"With the computer software developed as a part of the project, we've reached sperms with highest level of gene quality via embryo transfers, collective insemination, and methods like embryo creation in laboratories," an Ankara University professor and co-founder of the project told Hurryiet Daily News.

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