Genetically altered animals
The creation and use of genetically altered (GA) animals has increased exponentially over recent years. This is of concern to the RSPCA due to the regulated procedures and inherent wastage involved, and because it is difficult reliably to predict the effects of genetic alterations. There are also practical problems with accurately assessing the welfare of such large numbers of animals, including understanding how the genetic alteration has affected each individual.
Some of these concerns have been addressed with advances in gene editing technology, but these applications have also raised new ethical and animal welfare issues. They enable a greater number of species to be manipulated, encourage a wider variety of applications, and some are progressing at a rate that is outstripping ethical debate and public understanding.
The RSPCA has worked with external colleagues to produce guidance to help reduce the numbers, and improve the welfare, of GA animals.
Resources and reports
- GA passports: the key to consistent animal care - by the RSPCA GA Passport Working Group (GAPWG) (PDF 1.55MB)
- GA passports: report of a workshop held at IAT/LAVA Congress (PDF 96KB)
- Sharing and archiving of genetically altered mice - by the RSPCA Resource Sharing Working Group (RSWG) (PDF 200KB)