Cloned calves

Cloning = Cruelty

The case against cloning

The aim of cloning farm animals is to produce replicas of the animals with the highest economic value, for example the fastest-growing pigs or the highest-yielding dairy cows. However the process of cloning itself causes animal suffering and the animals with the highest economic value are prone to developing severe health problems – pushed to their physical limits, they are condemned to a lifetime of suffering.

The Cloning = Cruelty campaign highlights the intrinsic animal welfare issues of selective breeding in animals for food – i.e. meat and dairy. Research also shows that many cloned farm animals are born with deformed organs and live short and miserable lives.

Animals involved in the cloning process suffer

Cloned Boer Goat Kid

The first cloned Boer goat of east China's Anhui Province dies beside its mother. ©Xinhua News Agency

The cloning of farm animals can involve great suffering.  A cloned embryo has to be implanted into a surrogate mother who carries it to birth.  Cloned embryos tend to be large and can result in painful births that are often carried out by Caesarean section.  Many clones die during pregnancy or birth.  Of those that survive, a significant proportion die in the early days and weeks  of life from problems such as heart, liver and kidney failure.

The political situation

In 2008, the European Parliament voted for a ban on the sale of meat and milk from clones and their offspring (read more here).  However, this does not mean an end to the threat of cloning animals for food.  A clear law to ban the sale of meat and dairy from cloned animals or their offspring is yet to be passed in the EU.

Discussions between the Parliament, the Commission and the Council of Ministers on the Novel Foods Regulation (which will cover the issue of cloning) broke down in March 2011. The Parliament wanted to include a ban on the import or sale of the offspring of clones, which was unacceptable to the Commission and the majority of the ministers.

The Commission is preparing new legislation for 2013 on cloning animals for food and their use in the EU. This gives us the perfect opportunity to get this cruel practice banned.

Take action against cloning

What is Compassion doing?

Compassion will continue, with its European partners, to fight the introduction of cloning animals for food.

  • With World Animal Protection, we have produced an independent report on the welfare implications of cloning. The full report and a four-page summary with policy recommendations are available to download.
  • Compassion is calling on the Coalition Government and the rest of the EU to follow the European Parliament’s lead and prohibit the sale of food from cloned animals and their offspring.
  • Compassion continues to lobby at EU level to influence the debate between the EU Council, Parliament and Commission to end the threat of cloning in Europe for good by bringing in clear and comprehensive legislation to prohibit its use.

What you can do

Please email George Eustice, UK Minister for Farming and Food, asking him to support the European Commission’s proposals for an EU ban on cloning, and urge a ban on the use of offspring of clones, and the sale of meat and milk from clones and their offspring.

Take action


Video diary of our Cameron Clones march to Downing Street


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