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Several animal species have already been genetically modified, and at least eleven have been cloned, though some scientists doubt the health of those clones that survived to birth.

Some of these efforts are commercial, either for agribusiness or for sale directly to consumers as pets. Others are scientific experiments, usually defended as advancing, directly or indirectly, the cause of medicine for humans.

The cloning or genetic modification of pets serves no justifiable purpose. These efforts serve only to play upon one set of emotions-our affection for our companion pets-in order to desensitize another set of emotions-our repugnance at the idea of treating them as artifacts that can be "designed" and manufactured.

The modification of livestock and the possibility of cloned meat entering the food chain are very controversial. So is the possible use of genetically modified animals to "grow" either pharmaceutical products or organs for transplant into humans.


There have been published reports of the following species being cloned: carp, sheep, mice, cattle, goats, pigs, cats, rabbits, mules, horses, rats, and a deer. Some closely related species have also...