MEPs back ban on meat and milk from cloned animals

By Caroline SCOTT-THOMAS contact

- Last updated on GMT

Animal welfare and ethical concerns include the low efficacy of cloning, with high rates of difficult births, neonatal deaths and foetal abnormalities.
Animal welfare and ethical concerns include the low efficacy of cloning, with high rates of difficult births, neonatal deaths and foetal abnormalities.

Related tags: Animal welfare, European union, Eu

The European Environment and Agriculture committees backed a draft law to ban meat and milk from cloned animals and their descendants on Wednesday, citing animal welfare and ethical concerns.

The committees’ text was approved by 82 votes to 8 with 8 abstentions, and would forbid all cloning of farm animals in the EU as well as use of their products and imports of such animals and products. It also changes the Commission’s proposed directive to a regulation, which would apply directly in all EU countries without needing to be transposed into national law.

"Due to the negative effects on animal welfare, cloning for farming purposes is rejected by a large majority of consumers,”​ said Environment Committee co-rapporteur Renate Sommer. “Furthermore, we do not need cloning to ensure meat supplies in the EU. Prohibiting cloning is therefore a matter of European values and principles.”

She said a ban on imports was needed to avoid promoting cloning in third countries. Under the draft law, imported food, feed and other animal products would have to be certified as not deriving from animal clones or their descendants.

“The ban on placing animal clones or their offspring on the EU market is a red line for us,”​ said co-rapporteur law Giulia Moi.

“We are well aware that cloning is allowed in certain third countries that EU trades with, but we cannot allow these products to be placed on the EU market. We also want to ensure that cloning of animals would not become a common practice within the EU.”

Animal welfare and ethical concerns include the low efficacy of cloning, with high rates of difficult births, neonatal deaths and foetal abnormalities.

The draft law will be put to a vote before Parliament as a whole in Strasbourg at the September 7-9 plenary session.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety, Fresh Milk

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