MEPs to call for EU moratorium on animal cloning

Conservatives to sponsor European Parliament resolution

Brussels, 29th February 2008 — The European Commission should impose a moratorium on cloning animals for food supply, Sir Robert Atkins MEP said today.

The Parliament will be asked to support a motion put forward by Mr Parish, calling for the Commission to submit proposals prohibiting the cloning of animals for food supply, their farming and placing on the market and the importation of such animals or their products.

Sir Robert said cloning is particularly poor for animal welfare standards, as mortality and morbidity levels are much higher than in naturally-produced animals. Many of the animals die in great pain, of cardio-vascular failure, liver failure, respiratory problems and kidney and musculoskeletal abnormalities.

Cloning also reduces the genetic diversity of livestock, effectively leading to interbreeding.

The Parliament is being asked to vote on the moratorium at its next plenary session (week of 10th March).

Sir Robert said:

“Many consumers are extremely uneasy about the prospect of eating meat or products from cloned animals. We risk moving too far in front of the science and we are already seeing the consequences - weak gene pools, premature deaths and unnecessary suffering of animals.

“The European Commission must ban animal cloning - particularly for animals we eat - until we are absolutely certain the techniques are safe for humans and ensure higher levels of animal welfare. Even then, I still doubt there will be a great demand from the consumer.”

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