The Nuffield Council on Bioethics is calling on the Government to put animal welfare at the heart of plans to approve new breeding technologies in farming and food production, in a new report ‘Genome editing and farmed animal breeding: social and ethical issues’, published 1 December 2021.
The report makes several recommendations to the UK Government and others involved in livestock farming and food production, including:
- Investment in public dialogue to understand public values and concerns before any regulatory change to permit the sale of genome edited food happens.
- Action to develop enhanced welfare standards and clear guidance on responsible breeding, with appropriate oversight.
- Financial incentives for farmers and breeders to encourage ethical breeding practices that will drive up standards of animal welfare.
- Food retailers to commit to only sell meat from animals that are bred responsibly.