Gene-edited farm animals are on their way


EXCERPT: Scientists have created pigs that are immune to one of the world's costliest livestock diseases. The team edited the animals' DNA to make them resist the deadly respiratory disease known as PRRS - a move that could prevent billions of pounds in losses each year. However, consumers have traditionally been reluctant to eat genetically altered animals and crops. This poses a significant barrier to farmers owning gene-edited pigs.

And because genome, or gene, editing (GE) is relatively new, the absence of regulation currently prevents their sale anyway. [...] The pig research also raises animal welfare issues. Critics say that creating disease-resistant animals will discourage farmers from improving the welfare of their livestock. Some think that the way the animals are kept can make them less prone to contracting the virus that causes PRRS.


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