Genetic engineering and the integrity of animals

Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 19 (5):469-493 (2006)
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Abstract

Genetic engineering evokes a number of objections that are not directed at the negative effects the technique might have on the health and welfare of the modified animals. The concept of animal integrity is often invoked to articulate these kind of objections. Moreover, in reaction to the advent of genetic engineering, the concept has been extended from the level of the individual animal to the level of the genome and of the species. However, the concept of animal integrity was not developed in the context of genetic engineering. Given this external origin, the aim of this paper is to critically examine the assumption that the concept of integrity, including its extensions to the level of the genome and the species, is suitable to articulate and justify moral objections more specifically directed at the genetic engineering of animals.

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Rob De Vries
University of Amsterdam