Kazakhstan plans to domesticate saiga antelopes

It is planned to domesticate saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan. To this end, slightly more than 1,800 saiga cubs will be placed in semi-free conditions for scientific research. Scientists will monitor the veterinary and biological state of the steppe antelope population. Then, based on the collected data, they will prepare a scientific and biological substantiation, and present it to the public by 2025, the Kazakh Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources reports. According to the relevant ministry, the staff of the Institute of Zoology and the West Kazakhstan Agro-Technical University will be engaged in animal research. Scientists note that this is the necessary measure, which has no negative effects on the animal population. It bears noting that the corresponding document is available on the Open Government portal for public discussion.

“The purpose of this scientific research is to study the saiga population. It is specifically aimed at considering their further use as farm animals, that is the domestication of saiga and its subsequent introduction into agriculture. To this end, scientists are planning to keep the saiga cubs in the aviary. One of the rational approaches that has been suggested by the public itself is to use them as agricultural animals so that farmers can breed them, just like sheep or cows,” said Andrey Kim, Deputy Chairperson of Forestry and Wildlife Committee of the Kazakh Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources.

According to estimates made in 2022, the number of saiga antelopes in Kazakhstan is 1.3 million species, which makes up about 90 percent of the entire population of these ungulates in the world.