Genetic manipulation of animals in research

Animals in Science

Genetic manipulation of animals in research

Position Paper

Genetic manipulation involves the deliberate modification of the genome - the material responsible for inherited characteristics. There are specific welfare concerns associated with genetic modification of animals. The crossing of boundaries between species and the interference with the genetic integrity of animals has also evoked strong moral objections.

Laboratory use of genetically modified (GM) animals continues to increase dramatically. Within the EU, statistical comparison of figures of GM animal use is not available, but where GM animals are listed by member states they are generally increasing. For example, in Sweden a recent 27,000 increase in the number of mice used is attributed to increase in genetic modification and in the UK GM animals now count for one quarter of all procedures .

In the field of biotechnology the pace of scientific development often outstrips meaningful ethical debate and Eurogroup is extremely concerned about the ethical and welfare implications of the use of biotechnology techniques on animals.