Nessa Childers, MEP for Dublin, welcomed the outcome of this afternoon’s vote to ban animal cloning in the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee in the European Parliament, together with its committee on Agriculture.
Ms. Childers, a full member of the committee on the Environment, defended a much more stringent approach than that initially proposed by the European Commission on the grounds that the animal cloning ban should apply to all animals, including the offspring of cloned animals and cloned reproductive material, as well as a complete ban on imports.
Speaking from Brussels after the vote, Ms. Childers said:
“I am relieved that a majority of MEPs in our committee decided to listen to the wishes of the majority of the EU citizens they represent, who oppose animal cloning practices.
“Not only does this practice raise fundamental ethical questions, but it also has an atrocious track record when it comes to basic animal welfare standards, starting with the death of the vast majority of cloned foetuses during pregnancy or birth, and a mortality rate that sees about half of the few survivors die of health complications.
“Even if the current costs mean that only breeding animals tend to be cloned, especially in the Americas, these questions absolutely require traceability standards so that we can effectively ban such imports.
“Moreover, it is extremely dangerous to allow cloning as a technique to reproduce top breeding animals, as the ever narrowing biodiversity on a global scale makes our food sources increasingly vulnerable to disease and pandemics.
“The majority of 500 million consumers in the EU, including in Ireland, are rightly concerned with the known and unknown implications of animal cloning for the environment and human health.
“This is why the right approach was the outright ban not only on certain species and reproductive products but on any cloning of farmed animals, as well as keeping their descendants out of the food chain.
“We want this to happen through an immediately applicable regulation that does not hinge on the passing of any statutory instruments at the Member States’ level.”