Animal welfare issues associated with GM animals:
- Only 1–3% of experiments to genetically modify animals are successful.
- Cloning is often used with the genetic modification, which increases losses of embryos and offspring at around the time of birth. GM and cloned animals are often oversized, weak and susceptible to disease. In experiments, 50% of calves died before weaning, and mice had greater than normal illness in later life plus abnormalities in future generations. There is no information for GM farm animals on what might happen in the future.
- Belgian Blue beef cattle have double-muscling genes producing muscles that bodybuilders would envy. This may be good for beef production but not for reproduction. As calves are so big, births are painful and most are by (repeated) caesarian section.
- GM of gut microbes could make fodder more digestible for farm animals. However, the GM microbes could unbalance the gut, cause disease to the animals and contaminate food.
- Developing GM (transgenic) pigs to produce donor organs for humans causes public concern but this is mostly about the ethics of human use, rather than about the welfare of the pigs. Research in GM mice with a gene involved in organ rejection has shown vision impairment and increased susceptibility to blood infections.______________________________________________(Useful for UPSC General Studies, APPSC Group 1 Group 2 , Mains Material, Paper 1, Paper 4 Section 1 Section 2 Section 3, ROLE AND IMPACT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF INDIA, GENERAL AWARENESS WITH THE MODERN TRENDS IN LIFE SCIENCES, DEVELOPMENT & ENVIRONMENT PROBLEMS)