Creation and Use of Genetically Modified Animals

Comment on this policy

It is the position of the American Veterinary Medical Association that the creation of new genetic-based knowledge through basic genetic research and the practical application of that knowledge should not be needlessly restricted so long as it does not impact the integrity of the environment and the general health and well being of the genetically modified animal remains preferential to human values and needs.

Since the time when animals were first domesticated, humans have been actively involved in the selection of preferred traits that enhance the functional value and aesthetic appeal of specific animal breeds, while at the same time working to preserve and improve animal health and well being. The ability to select for a specific genetic trait through controlled breeding has resulted in a remarkable variety of animal breeds that are both physically and functionally unique.

Advancements made in sequencing the genomes of animals and improved technologies in functional genomics and biotechnology now present the opportunity to accelerate ongoing genetic improvements in animals at a pace and with a precision that is not possible by traditional selective breeding programs.

In this regard, having the DNA sequences for animals presents both a remarkable opportunity as well as a profound responsibility to utilize this knowledge and technology in a fashion that will preserve, if not improve, the health and well being of animals, while at the same time enhancing their appeal and value to humans.