ANIMAL RIGHTS
News, Information, and Knowledge Resources

Gene-edited farm animals are on their way

Gene Editing is different to the more widely used technology of genetic modification. The former involves the precise alteration of an organism's DNA, while the latter is characterised by the introduction of foreign genetic sequences into another living being.

PALLAB GHOSH: ‘Scientists have created pigs that are immune to one of the world’s costliest livestock diseases. The team edited the animals’ DNA to make them resist the deadly respiratory disease known as PRRS – a move that could prevent billions of pounds in losses each year. However, consumers have traditionally been reluctant to eat genetically altered animals and crops…

GE is different to the more widely used technology of genetic modification. The former involves the precise alteration of an organism’s DNA, while the latter is characterised by the introduction of foreign genetic sequences into another living thing.

The pig research also raises animal welfare issues. Critics say that creating disease-resistant animals will discourage farmers from improving the welfare of their livestock. Some think that the way the animals are kept can make them less prone to contracting the virus that causes PRRS. PRRS, which stands for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome, can cause breathing problems and death in young pigs…

In 1989, researchers working for the US Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, Maryland, added a gene into the DNA of a pig that would produce a human growth hormone. The expectation was that the animal would grow faster and be leaner than normal pigs.

The researchers were successful: weight gain increased by 15%, feed efficiency by 18%, and carcass fat was reduced by 80%. But the animals suffered from several unanticipated health problems, including kidney and liver problems, uncoordinated walking, bulging eyes, gastric ulcers, heart disease and pneumonia.

The catastrophic failure of the now infamous “Beltsville Pig” resulted in a voluntary moratorium on growth hormone experiments on mammals in the US. Because gene editing is more precise, those working in the area believe that it is much less likely to lead to unanticipated side effects’. SOURCE…

RELATED VIDEO:

You might also like

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

ENTER CAPTCHA CODE BELOW: