July 17, 2019
How genetic engineering is affecting animal welfare
The same way natural mutations affect animal welfare – It entirely depends on the type of mutations you introduce: If you start from an inbred strain that has a genetic defect and introduce a gene that compensates the defect, it improves animal welfare. If you use genetic engineering to introduce a gene defect, for disease models, to learn more about how a particular genetic leads to disease and how we can treat this pharmacologically, it may not be very agreeable for the animals. If you use transgenic animals for production of biologicals, e.g. introducing genes that produce pharmaceutically interesting proteins that are secreted in the milk or sequestered in the eggs, the direct effects on the welfare of the animal are negligible.