Brazil’s $4m super cow: The ‘key to food security’

7 June 2024

Brazil has no shortage of cows. But Viatina-19 FIV Mara Movéis, the most expensive cow sold at auction, stands head and shoulders above the hundreds of millions of others.

The Associated Press reports that this exceptional cow, sold for the record price of $4 million at an auction in São Paulo in 2023, weighs 1 100 kg – twice the average weight of an adult Nelore cow. Security cameras, a veterinarian and security guards watch over her.

While cattle farmers are increasingly criticised for their contribution to climate change and people are encouraged to eat less beef, Viatina-19 embodies Brazil’s efforts to breed cattle that yield more meat.

Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of beef and wants the whole world to eat its meat.

According to the report, Brazil’s efforts have been so successful that the country’s champion cattle are auctioned at such high prices that multiple owners must pool their resources to afford them. 

The champions’ eggs and semen are harvested to create embryos that are implanted in surrogate cows with the hope that they will produce the next champion.

Viatina-19 achieved the astonishing price thanks to her ability to gain large amounts of muscle weight, her fertility, and the speed with which she passes these traits on to her offspring.

Ney Pereira, one of her owners, describes her as “perfect” and says that by breeding with elite cattle, the whole world could one day be fed.

Read the full report here

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