Europe votes to ban cloning due to animal welfare concerns

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. 

The EU Parliament voted to ban the cloning of animals. Furthermore, imports of descendents of cloned animals, and all clone-derived products have been banned from the European market. This decision stands the EU apart from many other countries: farmers in the United States, South America and China commonly use cloning as part of farm breeding programmes. If you can have ten cows producing high yielding dairy cow calves rather than one, it sounds like a useful boost in productivity. If you own an ultra-efficient meat producing pig, why not use technology to create an exact genetic replica? Isn’t it like reproduction without the uncertainty of mixing male and female genes in the usual uncontrolled natural way? And if so, why has the EU voted to ban it?

The answer is simple and refreshing: European law makers are concerned about the severe impact of cloning on animal welfare. The low efficiency rates of cloning (6% to 15% for cattle and 6% for pigs) means that multiple embryo clones need to be implanted into several dams to obtain one cloned animal. Additionally, clone abnormalities and the abnormally large size of newborn animals leads to a high incidence of difficult births and neonatal deaths. European consumers are clear that this is unacceptable, with 67% agreeing that there are ethical concerns for rejecting animal cloning.

Read full, original post: No clones please, we’re European

  • Wackes Seppi

    The European Parliament
    voted, but the matter must still be considered by the Council (the
    Heads of State and Government).

    As to the value of cloning
    for agriculture, let’s be sober: very little interest. You need
    hundreds of ovules to get a few dozen cloned embryos and a few dozen
    surrogate mothers… just for one clone. Exceptional genotypes are
    best preserved by traditional crossings with other exceptional
    genotypes, possibly using superovulation and embryo transfer.

    This makes the EP hoopla
    even more ridiculous.