The European Union proposed a five-year ban on cloning farm animals and livestock, but the plan is not animal-friendly.
The ban gives the go-ahead for cloning all sorts of other animals including racehorses and fighting bulls.
The proposal was submitted by the EU’s executive commission on Tuesday and is expected to be approved in the next few months. It bans the cloning of first generation animals used for food and prohibits importing cloned livestock.
But the proposal does not protect animals and has advocates in an uproar because it specifically promotes cloning for many other purposes – including research.
In a story from The Wall Street Journal the EU health commissioner said, “Clones are for researchers, not butchers.”
Here is a list of cloning scenarios advocated by the EU:
- Saving a species from extinction
- Manufacturing pharmaceuticals
- Breeding performance animals such as racehorses or bulls for bull fights
The EU proposal also allows embryos and semen from cloned animals to be imported and the offspring of cloned animals to be used for their meat and milk.
The commission claims there are no animal health or public health concerns for consuming the offspring of clones.
Animal welfare groups pointed out that cloning is not an exact science and has a poor success rate.
Less than one out of every five animals cloned survives past the first few days of life.
And cloning is very expensive with costs coming in at $15,000 to $20,000 to breed one animal.
On May 19, the first cloned fighting bull was unveiled in northern Spain. The bull named Got, which means “glass” was identical to his father, a fighting bull named Vasito who died in March.
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