GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 11th February 2005

Kiwi Farmers Import Sheep's Ear for Cloning: A Threat to NZ Exports

A group of Wairarapa Farmers are applying to import an ear from an Argali sheep in order to create further offspring through cloning. But GE FRee NZ in food and environment see the proposal as a serious theat to New
Zealand's international reputation, as well as to primary industry.

This use of animal tissue in cloning without ethical and scientific rigour is an unsafe, cruel and unnecessary procedure that undermines years of investment to build a reputation for New Zealand beef and lamb the world over.

International sentiment will be negative, especially as alternatives like importation of semen can be done more safely and effectively.

It is unbelievable that MAF, has allowed lay people to do something like this that a multi-billion dollar sector of industry could be destabilised by. The fact that it is possible for individuals to import material like this is a danger to the breeding flocks of New Zealand.

"This is really bad for the overseas image of New Zealand, " says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment. "The damage to New Zealand's reputation is real, as well as being a biosecurity threat. What is ERMA, MAF or the government doing when the backbone of the economy is about to be cloned?"

"New Zealand sheep are the most hardy and the healthiest in the world. This is because careful breeding programmes have selected for traits that are suitable for the New Zealand conditions"s ays Claire Bleakley of GE
Free NZ in food and environment..

"Clones with all their weaknesses will dilute our breeding lines opening the sheep industry up to more interventions and reliance on medics," she says. "MAF cannot allow this kind of practice to continue. It should be legislated for and banned".


Jon Muller
Mobile 0274 794 195



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