No Compassion in Cloned Farming

EU - The animal welfare group, Compassion in World Farming, has said that they are appalled at the recently released European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) draft Opinion on animal cloning, as they say it appears sympathetic to a technology with "a long track record of inflicting severe suffering on farm animals".
calendar icon 16 January 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

Joyce D'Silva, Ambassador for Compassion in World Farming said: "The tragic truth is that for every so-called "successful" clone, there has been another who is unable to grow even to puberty and who is likely to have endured misery during its short life.

"We know from published research that around 50 per cent of cloned farm animals die either shortly before birth or within a few days or weeks afterwards. Many are born with malformed lungs, kidneys or other essential organs. We also know that cloning technology is likely to be used in conjunction with genetic modification, to replicate GM farm animals," she said.

CIWF also believes that the technology will also be used to clone the most productive, fast-growing animals - where the most money can be made. This also tends to be where the most animal welfare problems exist. "EFSA has recently reported that today's pigs have been bred to grow so quickly that they are suffering from painful leg disorders and heart problems at an early age. Yet it is these very fast growing pigs that are most likely to be cloned," said Ms D'Silva.

"European consumers are becoming ever more conscious of the ethical provenance of the food they buy and one of their main concerns is animal welfare. We have no doubt that they will reject products from cloned or GM animals or the offspring of clones," she added.

CIWF says that EFSA must take account of the growing global recognition that animals are sentient beings and that there is a responsibility to minimise, not increase, their suffering.

Meanwhile the US leading pig processor, Smithfield Foods has repeated its stand not to use cloned animals in its production in response to the Federal Drug Administration's announcement that meat products from cloned animals are safe for human consumption.

A statement from the company said: "The science involved in cloning animals is relatively new. As thoughtful leaders in our industry, we will continue to monitor further scientific research on this technology.

"Throughout our long history we have been very diligent and measured in making decisions that affect our customers and our reputation. We are committed to maintaining our focus on the development and improvement of our meat products through careful selective breeding and genetic research."

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