An Italian man has beaten the Guinness World Record for cow-milking and won the world championship after the previous title-holder refused to compete.
Gianmario Ghirardi, 31, took first place at the world cow-milking championships after he milked 8.7 litres of milk from his cow, Mirka, by hand, The Local reported.
Held in Lenna, Italy, the competition saw Ghirardi break the Guinness World Record held by Maurizio Paschetta, who had milked four-and-a-half litres in under two minutes in 2012.
The record itself had been set in 2008 by Gunther Wahl, who milked two litres of milk from a cow in two minutes.
Taking to the stage to collect his trophy, this year’s champion, Ghirardi, said his victory was down to his cow Mirka, who he has owned for seven years.
But previous champion Paschetta, who had refused to compete in this year’s competition, poured sour milk on the competition.
“For a competition at this level I would have expected strong anti-doping checks on the cows and milkers to protect the animals and guarantee transparency of the top positions,” he said.
“The event could be a showcase for the agricultural world and its traditions, but this has been neglected in the organisation,” he added.
The competition’s organisers refuted the claims however. Organising body Fiera di San Matteo’s assistant president Francesco Maroni said: “We are experts… we checked the cows for any tampering for an hour, then there are eight judges.”
While the UK doesn’t hold its own cow-milking competition, at the UK Dairy Day in September a cow was recognised for making an “outstanding lifetime contribution,” for produce in its lifetime according to organisers.
Chalclyffe Iron Arlene, owned by JF Cobb and Sons in Dorchester, was recognised for producing nearly 114 tonnes of milk in her lifetime and over eight tonnes of combined fat and protein.