This Wednesday, the European Parliament's Environment and Agriculture committees voted on the draft of a law on cloning animals.
Consumer research shows that 70% of EU citizens strongly oppose food from clones or from their descendants and that the majority also disapprove of the use of cloning for farming purposes, on animal welfare and general ethical grounds.
Committees call for ban
The parliamentary committees call on the EU to introduce a comprehensive ban on cloning and on the placing on the market of food from clones and their descendants.
The original Commission proposal had not included any restrictions on descendants, even though it is these animals that are likely to enter the food chain in significant numbers.
They also called for the proposal to be upgraded from a Directive to a Regulation, which would be easier to enforce.
Why ban cloning?
Cloning causes huge animal welfare problems. Most cloned foetuses die during pregnancy or birth. Only 6-15% of cattle embryos and 6% of pig embryos are born alive. In addition mortality rate of clones can reach 45% due to health complications.
It also offers yet another mechanism by which the intensification of production can be accelerated through breeding, so often at the cost of animal suffering.
A strong signal
The vote sends a strong message to the Council and the Commission.
Olga Kikou, European Affairs Manager at Compassion, said “This is excellent news, but there are more battles to win before the proposal becomes law”.
The Parliament will finally vote in plenary in September and we will be lobbying to make sure the vote reflects the strength of feeling throughout the EU on this issue.
That includes :
- A ban of the cloning of animal for food consumption
- A ban of food products from animal clones and their offspring
- A ban on the import and sale of clones and their descendants