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Cow Cow

[Image: aKWJ1hw.jpeg]
(Source: Kojima et al / Above article)

TOKYO: They may produce some of the best wagyu beef in the world, but many of the Japanese Black of Yamagata prefecture no longer look like cattle. Increasingly, they are looking like zebras.

Beef farmers across the prefecture have started to colour their cattle, using a mild bleach or spray paint to give them vertical stripes, the Mainichi newspaper reported.

According to research by scientists employed by the prefecture over the last three years, striped cattle attract significantly fewer flies than cattle with their traditional coats.

The Japanese Black breed is one of the four Japanese breeds of cattle that produce high-end wagyu, but farmers have long complained that their herds are vulnerable to bloodsucking insects, such as cattle flies and gadflies. This elevated the stress levels of cattle, they said, with the discomfort and pain even affecting the herds’ reproductive rates.

Well, this brings back bad memories of the zoo that allegedly painted a donkey as a zebra -_- . But here, at least there seems to be some practical purpose to it: it's not being done purely to trick people!

And apparently it makes the cattle happier too, since it keeps the flies away from them :P .