Dom Post: Animal death toll ends cloning trials

Kiran Chug writes in the Dominion Post about AgResearch ending its cloning trials, due to the death rates of laboratory animals.

While AgResearch will no longer be cloning animals, it will still be developing its transgenic cattle, sheep and goats, intended to produce pharmaceutically-useful proteins which cannot be easily made any other way.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Although cloning trials would no longer be conducted, AgResearch would continue to develop transgenic cattle, sheep and goats. Dr Suttie said new technology using embyronic stem cells was unlikely to cause the same death rates as cloning.

“AgResearch is developing transgenic cattle, goats and sheep to produce proteins that cannot be readily produced in any other way – the trials include creating animals that will produce proteins with pharmaceutical benefits.

“One goal was to produce a drug like Herceptin, but one that was more cost-effective and readily available. “There’s very definitely a human benefit associated with this kind of research.”

“The work was being done ultimately for the benefit of humans, but Dr Suttie said scientists took animal welfare standards and ethical issues very seriously.”