FSSAI Declares Yak As Food Animal: Report

The Food Safety & Standard Authority of India  (FSSAI) has declared the Himalayan Yak can be used in the dairy market. The decision was reportedly taken after the Arunachal Pradesh-based ICAR-National Research Centre (ICARN)  had written a letter to FSSAI, an agency Under the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, last year. 

Elated by the positive response, ICARN director Dr Mihir Sarkar said that FSSAI’s decision will help the Yak farmers commercially and boost its production system, reports stated.

He added, “It is less remunerative because the two principal products, yak milk and meat, were not part of the conventional dairy and meat industries, as this animal was not approved by the FSSAI as a food animal. However, the approval will promote commercial yak rearing and consumption of yak meat and milk.”

Highlighting the nutritional values, Mr Sarkar added yak milk contains 78 to 82 per cent water and it is rich in fats and other essential minerals. The add-on products of Yak milk, much like other milk available in the market, are ghee and paneer. 

For the unversed, the Himalayan Yak is found in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and North Bengal among other places.

As per a Live Stock census, released by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, the total bovine population (Cattle, Buffalo, Mithun and Yak) is 303.76 million in 2019 which shows an increase of 1.3% over the previous census. The total Mithun and Yak in the country is 3.9 lakh and 58,000 in 2019, increased by 29.5% and 24.9%, respectively over the previous Census.

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