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On Australia's 2005 Animal Cloning Proposal

November 10, 2005 | Animal Rights

This month, Friends of Animals responded to Australia's National Health and Medical Research Council's request for submissions regarding their "Draft Guidelines for the Creation, Breeding, Care and Use of Genetically Modified and Cloned Animals for Scientific Purposes." The prepared PDF document is available for download, or you may opt instead to read it online. .


In this submission we formally respond to the National Health and Medical Research Council's "Animal Welfare Committee's Guidelines for the creation, breeding, care and use of genetically modified and cloned animals for scientific purposes, Draft consultation document 2005" (hereinafter "Draft Guidelines").

The "integrity" and the "nature" of nonhuman animals may be affected by genetic modification or cloning, observes the Council in the Preamble to the Guidelines. Changes may include how such animals interact with other animals and the environment. The Council states: "Such changes (both expected and unexpected) have major ethical

We agree, and believe that Australia should follow that statement to its logical conclusion, and disallow the cloning of nonhuman as well as human beings. We further state that genetic modification of nonhuman beings for human purposes is ethically unacceptable, for the reasons below.


What are the reasons that you think that cloning is unethical?

All the same ethical objections to cloning human beings apply to cloning nonhuman beings. Moreover, there is no way a nonhuman being can give consent to be cloned let alone to be born as a clone. To clone other animals is to manipulate them because we think it is beneficial in some way to do so, not because they think so. Above all, cloners are working for the multi-billion dollar agribusiness sectors. The patents granted to the creators of Dolly the sheep now belong to ViaGen, a Texas corporation that produces cloned pigs and cows in order to advertise juicier steaks and tastier chops, and dairy cattle capable of huge milk yields. Lee Hall.

It's clear that cloning is wrong, but what about the recent advancements in artificially engineered meat, dairy, etc? If the tissue was never alive, would it be unethical to consume? Would you wear an artificially engineered jacket?

So then if we cloned human tissue, we could sell it in supermarkets and fast food chains? The problem we are facing is how to end the exploitation of animals and that can be accomplished by a simple choice made by individuals without questionable scientific engineering with unknown side effects. Meat engineered or not is not needed.

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