European Parliament votes to ban all animal cloning

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The European Parliament has adopted a proposed ban on animal cloning, extending it to include offspring and imports.

MEPs today (8 August) adopted a legislative report banning the cloning of farmed animals, their descendants and the import of all products derived from animal cloning with a vote of 529 votes to 120, with 57 abstentions.

The European Commission had proposed to ban the cloning of farmed animals but allow the sale of meat and milk from the descendants of cloned animals and imports of products from cloning.

But MEPs said the high mortality rates associated with animal cloning raised serious “animal welfare and ethical concerns” and called for a more “comprehensive ban”.

“Up to now, we have been able to import reproductive material from third countries,” said environment committee co-rapporteur, Renate Sommer, who presented a report to the European Parliament in Strasbourg today.

“We are washing our hands letting others do the dirty work. We want to ban comprehensively. Not just the use of cloning techniques but the imports of reproductive material, clones and their descendants.”

MEPs also voted to extend the legal act from a directive, which would require further national legislation, to a regulation, which has to be adopted directly in all member states.

“We need to take into account the impact on animal health, but also on human health,” added agriculture committee co-rapporteur, Giulia Moi.

“This reports sends the message to our trade partners that we are not willing to put our own health, our families’ health, and future generations’ health at stake using products of dubious quality of this nature,”

MEPs also voted to extend the legal act from a directive, which would require further national legislation, to a regulation, which has to be adopted directly in all member states.

They also extended the ban to cover all species of animals kept and reproduced for farming, rather than just bovine, porcine, ovine, caprine and equine species as proposed by the Commission.

The co-rapporteurs will now start negotiations with the Council of the EU on the final shape of the law.

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