Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
With wide hooves and the ability to carry large weights at high elevations, domesticated yak serve as beasts of burden for many inhabitants of the Tibetan plateau. The finer fur of the young is used for clothing, while the longer fur of the adult is used in making blankets, tents, etc. Also, in some areas where firewood is particularly sparse, the dung is used as fuel. In some areas, milk from the cow is used to produce large amounts of butter and cheese for export (Buchholtz, 1990).
The wild counterpart of B. grunniens serves many of the same economic functions, although to a lesser degree due to their rather sparse availability and obvious non-domestication. While penalties have been set by China, hunting of the wild yak still takes place, especially in the winter where some local farmers find them the only source of meat during harsh winter months (Schaller & Wulin, 1996).
Positive Impacts: food ; body parts are source of valuable material; produces fertilizer