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Cows learn to meow

Cows in Wales are being taught to meow as part of a programme to confuse badgers.

The initiative, run by the University of Llanplank, is designed to discourage badgers, which can carry tuberculosis, from approaching cattle. It is thought that this may limit the spread of disease.

The main difficulty, said Professor Dai Luffin of the department of animal noises, is persuading cows to make the sound of a cat sufficiently convincing to confuse badgers. We selected the meow because it sonically similar to cows' natural utterances.

Early research was successful in getting cats to moo, but this has turned out to have no practical value.

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