Transgender: Nanny goats are being born inside the bodies of billy goats as a result of a bizarre genetic engineering project in New Zealand
Genetic engineers are deliberately breeding transgender goats to see if their milk is similar to that produced by humans.
The goats being created are effectively a female trapped in a male’s body, complete with the full male anatomy.
The company behind them wants to see if their milk contains the same proteins as human breast milk - with a view to one day possibly selling it in stores.
The goats have been christened ‘goys’, a mixture of ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ and 15 have been bred at the research facility in New Zealand.
Critics have however already called for the breeding programme to be closed down amid concerns the scientists are ‘playing God’.
They have also asked about the dangers posed if the goats escaped and their DNA was introduced to the wider gene pool.
AgResearch has said that 75 per cent of the goats bred at its facility in Hamilton are transgender as a result of the programme.
All the ‘males’ have been sterilised to stop them breeding.
In total there are 15 ‘goys’ and one of them has so far produced milk at the age of six months.
The development sparked an appalled reaction on blogs and comment posts.
On one blog Carol Hill wrote: ‘I shudder to think what mankind is doing to innocent animals to help out mankind and kill off these innocent animals.
‘I just don't get it at all, I simply don't’.