World’s most expensive cow sets new Guinness World Record

11 Jun, 2024 - 12:06 0 Views
World’s most expensive cow sets new Guinness World Record A stockman shows off the Nelore cow known as Viatina-19 at a farm in Uberaba, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, Friday, April 26, 2024. Viatina-19 is the product of years of efforts to raise meatier cows, and is the most expensive cow ever sold at auction, according to Guinness World Records. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

The Sunday News

UBERABA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil has hundreds of millions of cows, but one in particular is extraordinary. Her massive, snow-white body is watched over by security cameras, a veterinarian and an armed guard.

Worth $4 million, Viatina-19 FIV Mara Movéis is the most expensive cow ever sold at auction, according to Guinness World Records. That’s three times more than the last recordholder’s price. And — at 1,100 kilograms (more than 2,400 pounds) — she’s twice as heavy as an average adult of her breed.

Along a highway through Brazil’s heartland, Viatina-19’s owners have put up two billboards praising her grandeur and beckoning ranchers, curious locals and busloads of veterinary students to make pilgrimages to see the supercow.

Climate scientists agree that people need to consume less beef, the largest agricultural source of greenhouse gasses and a driver of Amazon deforestation. But the cattle industry is a major source of Brazilian economic development and the government is striving to conquer new export markets. The world’s top beef exporter wants everyone, everywhere to eat its beef.

The embodiment of Brazil’s cattle ambitions is Viatina-19, the product of years of efforts to raise meatier cows. The country’s prizewinners are sold at high-stakes auctions — so high that wealthy ranchers share ownership. They extract the eggs and semen from champion animals, create embryos and implant them in surrogate cows that they hope will produce the next magnificent specimens.

A stockman watches over the Nelore cow known as Viatina-19 at a farm in Uberaba, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, Friday, April 26, 2024Viatina-19 is the product of years of efforts to raise meatier cows, and is the most expensive cow ever sold at auction, according to Guinness World Records. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
A stockman watches over the Nelore cow known as Viatina-19 at a farm in Uberaba, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, Friday, April 26, 2024. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

“We’re not slaughtering elite cattle. We’re breeding them. And at the end of the line, going to feed the whole world,” one of her owners, Ney Pereira, said after arriving by helicopter at his farm in Minas Gerais state. “I think Viatina will provide that.”

The cow’s eye-popping price stems from how quickly she put on vast amounts of muscle, from her fertility and — crucially — how often she has passed those characteristics to her offspring, said Lorrany Martins, a veterinarian who is Pereira’s daughter and right hand. Breeders also value posture, hoof solidity, docility, maternal ability and beauty. Those eager to level up their livestock’s genetics pay around $250,000 for an opportunity to collect Viatina-19’s egg cells.

“She is the closest to perfection that has been attained so far,” Martins said. “She’s a complete cow, has all the characteristics that all the proprietors are looking for.” -Associated Press

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