Genetically Modifying Livestock for Improved Welfare: A Path Forward

  title={Genetically Modifying Livestock for Improved Welfare: A Path Forward},
  author={Adam Shriver and Emilie McConnachie},
  journal={Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics},
In recent years, humans’ ability to selectively modify genes has increased dramatically as a result of the development of new, more efficient, and easier genetic modification technology. In this paper, we argue in favor of using this technology to improve the welfare of agricultural animals. We first argue that using animals genetically modified for improved welfare is preferable to the current status quo. Nevertheless, the strongest argument against pursuing gene editing for welfare is that… 
Prioritizing the protection of welfare in gene-edited livestock
  • Adam Shriver
  • Philosophy
    Animal frontiers : the review magazine of animal agriculture
  • 2020
It is argued that the global community ought to adopt a modified version of this principle in regard to all genetic modification of animals performed for nonresearch purposes and that assuming that the principle will be followed via “self-regulation” would be both morally wrong and likely to permanently damage trust in food producers.
Gene Editing for Improved Animal Welfare and Production Traits in Cattle: Will This Technology Be Embraced or Rejected by the Public?
Integrating technology into agricultural systems has gained considerable traction, particularly over the last half century. Agricultural systems that incorporate the public’s concerns regarding farm
Using Breeding Technologies to Improve Farm Animal Welfare: What is the Ethical Relevance of Telos?
Some breeding technology applications are claimed to improve animal welfare: this includes potential applications of genomics and genome editing to improve animals’ resistance to environmental
A Doomed Technology? On Gene Editing in Bavarian Livestock Agriculture, Policy Field Conflicts and Responsible Research and Innovation
The emergence of CRISPR-Cas9 has recently, for the first time, rendered the large-scale genetic modification of livestock animals such as cows, pigs, and chickens possible. Novel editing targets
CRISPR in livestock: From editing to printing
Gene Doping-in Animals? Ethical Issues at the Intersection of Animal Use, Gene Editing, and Sports Ethics.
  • C. Neuhaus, Brendan Parent
  • Biology
    Cambridge quarterly of healthcare ethics : CQ : the international journal of healthcare ethics committees
  • 2019
It is argued that animal sport enthusiasts and animal welfarists alike should be concerned about the inevitable use of CRISPR in sport animals and current and future ethical issues at the intersection of animal use, gene editing, and sports.
Bioethical issues in genome editing by CRISPR-Cas9 technology
In order for CRISPR-Cas9 to be used safely in all areas and to solve potential issues, worldwide legislation should be prepared, taking into account the opinions of both life and social scientists, policy makers, and all other stakeholders of the sectors, and CRisPR- Cas9 applications should be implemented according to such legislations.
Genome Editing Strategies to Protect Livestock from Viral Infections
Genes of interest in animals and viruses can be targeted to understand their functions during infection and transgenic animals expressing CRISPR/Cas can be generated to target the viral genome upon infection to reduce disease outbreaks and decrease zoonotic threats.
Conceptual evolution and scientific approaches about synthetic meat
A historical overview of the conceptual evolution of science concerning synthetic meat from its emergence to the present day is constructed and the understanding of synthetic meat and its stage of technological and economic development is maximized to make commercial production feasible.


Staying good while playing god--the ethics of breeding farm animals.
The aim of this paper is to discuss the goals and consequences of farm animal breeding within an ethical context, and it is suggested that there are in fact two very different ethical approaches: the 'quality of life-based' approach and the 'preservationist' approach.
Generation of mastitis resistance in cows by targeting human lysozyme gene to β-casein locus using zinc-finger nucleases
The production of cloned cows carrying human lysozyme gene knock-in β-casein locus using ZFNs opens a unique avenue for the creation of transgenic cows from genetic engineering by providing a viable tool for enhancing resistance to disease and improving the health and welfare of livestock.
Single Cas9 nickase induced generation of NRAMP1 knockin cattle with reduced off-target effects
It is demonstrated that a single Cas9n-induced single-strand break can stimulate the insertion of the natural resistance-associated macrophage protein-1 (NRAMP1) gene with reduced, but still considerable, off-target effects.
Knocking Out Pain in Livestock: Can Technology Succeed Where Morality has Stalled?
It is suggested that recent research indicates that the authors may be very close to, if not already at, the point where they can genetically engineer factory-farmed livestock with a reduced or completely eliminated capacity to suffer.
Possibilities for an in vitro meat production system
Generation of cloned transgenic pigs rich in omega-3 fatty acids
The generation of cloned pigs that express a humanized Caenorhabditis elegans gene, fat-1, encoding an n-3 fatty acid desaturase is described, and the hfat-1 transgenic pigs produce high levels of n- 3 fatty acids from n-6 analogs, and their tissues have a significantly reduced ratio ofn-6/n-4 fatty acids.
TALE nickase-mediated SP110 knockin endows cattle with increased resistance to tuberculosis
In vitro and in vivo challenge and transmission experiments proved that the transgenic cattle are able to control the growth and multiplication of Mycobacterium bovis, turn on the apoptotic pathway of cell death instead of necrosis after infection, and efficiently resist the low dose of M.bovis transmitted from tuberculous cattle in nature.
Gene targeting by TALEN-induced homologous recombination in goats directs production of β-lactoglobulin-free, high-human lactoferrin milk
Analysis of milk from the cloned goats revealed large-scale hLF expression or/and decreased BLG levels in milk from heterozygous goats as well as the absence of BLG in Milk from homozygous goat, suggesting that gene targeting via TALEN-induced HR may expedite the production of genetically engineered livestock for agriculture and biomedicine.
Precision engineering for PRRSV resistance in pigs: Macrophages from genome edited pigs lacking CD163 SRCR5 domain are fully resistant to both PRRSV genotypes while maintaining biological function
The application of CRISPR/Cas9 to pig zygotes is described, resulting in the generation of pigs with a deletion of Exon 7 of the CD163 gene, encoding SRCR5, indicating an inhibition of infection prior to gene expression.
Cloned transgenic cattle produce milk with higher levels of β-casein and κ-casein
The results show that it is feasible to substantially alter a major component of milk in high producing dairy cows by a transgenic approach and thus to improve the functional properties of dairy milk.