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EU: MEPs call for ban on cloning

Press information - Eurogroup for Animals

Brussels, 21 February 2008

European parliamentarians are calling for the European Union to ban cloning of animals for food and any products derived from their offspring.

Members of the European Parliamentary Intergroup on Animal Welfare voted last night in Strasbourg in favour of a motion for a resolution to be presented to Parliament. The resolution urges the European Commission to prohibit cloning of animals for food and any products from cloned animals and their offspring.

Neil Parish MEP, the chairman of the Intergroup, said: “I would like to see an EU-wide moratorium brought in immediately to stop food from cloned animals and their offspring from reaching the food chain.”

The European Union is currently considering whether to approve animal cloning for food production. The European Food Safety Authority is conducting a public consultation on its draft opinion on cloning for food until 25 February.

News of the draft motion has been welcomed by animal welfare organisation Eurogroup for Animals, which provides the secretariat for the Intergroup and also favours an immediate ban.

Director Sonja Van Tichelen said: “We are delighted the European Parliament is having an open debate on this issue. Cloning is something that will affect all of us, so people need the chance to have their say on the basis of all the facts.

“Cloning is an incredibly wasteful way of producing food, and causes suffering and harm to animals at every stage of development.”

Cloning has been proved to be an inefficient practice that requires the loss of many animal lives just to produce one successful clone. Scientists have found that the ones who do survive suffer more defects and die much earlier than non-cloned animals.

The European Group on Ethics, which advises the European Commission, said in its final opinion published on 17 January that it “does not see convincing arguments to justify the production of food from clones and their offspring”.

If the European Union were to approve cloning for food, products from cloned animals and their offspring could be on the market within the next few years. Once these products have been allowed, it will be difficult to identify them as being from cloned animals and their offspring.

- ENDS -

For more information call Steven Blaakman,
senior press officer at Eurogroup,
on 0032 (0)27400823
or email him on s.blaakman@eurogroupforanimals.org.
Outside office hours please call 0032 (0)475 731066.

The all-party Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of Animals was created in 1983 in the European Parliament to discuss European and international animal welfare and conservation issues and, where appropriate, take initiatives which can lead to legislation. Attended by representatives from most political groups and nationalities, this influential Intergroup provides a forum for MEPs for debate and for initiating action for a wide range of animal welfare and conservation issues.
Seventeen out of 24 MEPs present at the Intergroup on Animal Welfare last night voted in favour of the motion to be presented to parliament.
The resolution “Calls on the Commission to submit proposals to prohibit (i) the cloning of animals for food supply, (ii) the farming of cloned animals or their offspring, (iii) the placing on the market of meat or dairy products derived from cloned animals or their offspring and (iv) the import of cloned animals or their offspring, semen and embryos from cloned animals or their offspring, and meat of dairy products derived from cloned animals or their offspring.”
Only 8% of sheep involved in a cloning process result in a viable offspring or embryo transferred. For cows this is 15-20%. Goats less than 3%, pigs 3-5%, rabbits less than 2%, mice less than 2%, horses less than 1%, and deer less than 1%.
Mortality and morbidity of clones are higher than in sexually produced animals.

Source: Eurogroup for Animals
Author: EU:

Link: Ethical aspects of animal cloning for food supply/The opinion of the European Group on Ethics for science and new technologies - EGE
Link: Spanish rancher plans to clone prize bull: report

Date: 2008-02-21

Other EVANA-articles about this topic:
Ethics group warns of animal welfare implications of cloning (en)


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