Horrific genetic engineering of animals must stop

The Green Party is calling for Agresearch to stop its programme of genetic engineering experiments on animals at its Ruakura facility after a report revealing horrific birth defects and animal suffering was released this morning.

The report ‘GE Animals in New Zealand’ outlines the appalling genetic engineering experimentation on thousands of sheep, cattle and goats in New Zealand, that has resulted in chronically ill animals, deformities, and huge rates of miscarriage and still birth.

“Successive experiments have failed at huge taxpayer and animal welfare cost,” said Green Party GE spokesperson Steffan Browning. 

“They raise serious questions about ethics of methods used on these animals. Cows have been implanted with embryos that contain human genetic materials, resulting in terrible deformities, still births and suffering.

“Photographs of deformities have been suppressed by AgResearch in case they jeopardise public and commercial investment in genetic modification.

“Transparency around animal welfare is being compromised for genetic engineering.

“The one existing New Zealand GE animal field trial site, at AgResearch’s Ruakura facility, has been given a further $1.2m by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) in the 2015 Science Investment Round for more experiments on goats, to produce pharmaceuticals that are already made in factory vats. That programme is a partnership with Auckland University, and Transgenic Proteins NZ Ltd, a company co-owned by Federated Farmers President Dr William Rolleston.

“When I visited the Ruakura GE facility, I found that goat and cow experiments have had huge pregnancy failures (85% in goats), and in one goat herd, there was a dominance of hermaphroditic offspring, which were then hormonally induced to milking at seven months old.

“It’s safe to say most New Zealanders would be horrified to know their taxpayer money is being spent this way.

“The Royal Commission on Genetic Modification (RCGM) in 2000 was clear that animals used for food production should not be used as pharmaceutical factories.

“We believe that animals must not be used in genetic engineering experiments, or suffer in the name of research. We will work to eliminate methods that cause animals to suffer or prevent them from expressing their normal behaviour, such as the work done at Ruakura.

“The development of genetically engineered animals for research with these inherent deformities and susceptibilities must stop.  

“AgResearch has important research and development strands, but the GE animal programme, undermines its reputation and that of first class primary production in New Zealand,” said Mr Browning

ENDS

Action

Virtual Events

We have activists across Aotearoa / New Zealand who are working hard to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. This page lists upcomin...
Take Action

Action

It's time to pay our essential workers a dignified wage

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been...
Take Action

Action

Join our call to stop funding fossil fuels!

We need to remove all public money managed by the Government from climate-changing fossil fuel industries.
Take Action

Action

Support our Climate Action Plan for bigger bolder climate action

We agree with all five of the School Strike for Climate's demands. Read more and sign the petition.
Take Action

Action

Show your support to end housing inequality

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been undervalued and many barely....
Take Action

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes

Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361...
Read More

Story

Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public consultation

The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Managem...
Read More

Story

New protection for dolphins and support for changes to fishing methods

Extensive new protections are being put in place as part of an updated plan to look after New Zealand’s native Hector’s and Māui dolphins, announce...
Read More

Story

Strongest ever water reforms mean swimmable rivers within a generation

The Green Party says major freshwater reforms announced today provide the strongest ever protections of our waterways, to help ensure the next gene...
Read More

Story

Budget 2020: Huge investment in green nature based jobs jump starts sustainable COVID recovery

The Green Party says the $1.1 billion environmental investment in this year’s budget to create thousands of green jobs will help jump start a susta...
Read More

Story

Reducing waste and creating jobs - Minister announces 2020 Waste Minimisation Fund applications open, focus on COVID-19 recovery

Creating jobs in the vital waste reduction sector is the focus of the latest application round for the Waste Minimisation Fund, which opens today.
Read More