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  • Context (IE | DH): The Punganur breed cows were recently in the news.

    punganur cows

  • The Punganur breed is native to the Chittoor district in Andhra Pradesh.
  • These dwarf cattle are the world’s shortest-humped breed.
  • Punganur cows come in various colours (white or grey or shades of light or dark brown).
  • They have small, crescent-shaped horns, longer in females than males.
  • They were once on the verge of extinction. However, their numbers improved from 2,828 (19th Livestock Census) to 13,275 (20th Livestock Census).
  • Distribution: Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu.

Significance of Punganur Cows Milk

  • The milk of the Punganur cow, contains the element Au (gold).
  • It is used for Ksheeraabhishekam (milk offering to the deity) in Tirupati Thirumala Temple.
  • It is nutritionally rich, known for its high-fat content, A2 milk, and abundance of nutrients like Omega fatty acids, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.

Conservation efforts taken

  • Andhra Pradesh government provided financial support for the promotion of the Punganur breed.
  • GoI established Gokul Gram for the promotion of Punganur and other indigenous breeds of cattle in Telangana.

A1 vs A2 Milk

  • Milk contains about 85% water. The remaining 15% is the milk sugar lactose, protein, fat and minerals. Beta-casein (protein) is about 30% of the total protein content in milk.
  • A2 milk is the milk that contains only the A2 type of beta-casein protein.
  • A1 milk contains only A1 beta casein or A1A2 type variant.
  • The A1 protein variant is commonly found in milk from crossbred and European breeds of cattle.
  • A2 milk is found basically in indigenous cows and buffaloes of India (Asia as a whole).
  • A2 milk is gaining popularity because some studies suggest that A2 milk may be easier to digest for some individuals than A1 milk.
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