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Genetically Engineering Animals

Essay by   •  March 1, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,148 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,486 Views

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Genetically Engineering Animals

Introduction

Genetic engineering in animals is a vast subject. It includes all kinds of manipulation and changing of the genetic code of animals of any species or complexity (Yount, 224-227). Genetic engineering has good side as well as bad side of the picture. Factory farming greatly employs genetic engineering technique to enhance the productivity in the field. And genetic engineering is reason due to which lots of animals suffer in factory farming at present. One main thing might be that genetically engineering animals is unnatural, and therefore wrong. This objection should not persuade anyone. One reason why it should not is because it is awfully difficult to differentiate what is and is not natural in a way that does not straight away bring up problems.

Discussion

Manipulation of animal's DNA takes place in genetic engineering this allows scientists to change animal's genetic make-up and even mix genetic material between species. It all begins in the early 80s as a few tentative experiments and now it has blow up into a highly controversial free-for-all (Yount, 224-227). The transgenic animals are not only confined to the laboratory but they are being produced with defects. The major thrust of this work is aimed at producing tailor-made animals for research, engineering them to create medical substances, and improving creatures for eating. There have been attempts to produce grazing pigs, pigs that produce appealing milk, and muscular chickens containing calf genes. Many successful scientists have produced turkeys that produce more eggs, and sheep containing mouse genes have been produced to grow more wool. There are GE fish on sale and their main aim is create genetically engineered mega-fish which grow larger and faster. They have also tried putting flounder genes inside salmon to help them tolerate cold better and become disease resistant. There are various risks connected with fish engineering. Alternations in size and breeding patterns could influence all other living being that usually feed on that particular fish, genetically engineered fish could displace other varieties thus further reducing the natural gene pool.

A further category of risks is environmental and ecological the risk is associated with releasing genetically engineered animals into the environment, but with negative, unanticipated consequences. There is also the question of "wastage" of genetically engineered animals that did not make the grade. Multi-national companies working with transgenic animals would like to get back some of their costs by selling them for meat.

At present, over 300 million tones of meat are consumed every year throughout the world. As a result, battery and factory farms are becoming more and more common in order to keep up with demand (Hauskeller, 45-47). These farms are disreputable for their cramped conditions and bad treatment of animals. In the case of battery farm, many chickens have their beaks removed without anesthetic or pain relief to prevent them from pecking their neighbors.

It is one example of the bad treatment with animals and this is becoming more common, is there an ethical responsibility to ensure that animals suffer as little as possible. Consumers are now checking products to unsure that product they are buying ethically sourced. Labels like "hormone-free" and "free-range" are now significant for people who are buying meat, so could a breakthrough in neuroscience witness the introduction of "pain-free" meat products.

Some scientists propose that by removing animal's ability to feel pain, they could easily put themselves in harm's way. Neuro-scientists at the University of Pennsylvania believe that this can be overcome. Citing people on morphine

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