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Workshop Series
Virtual Conference
Current Discussion
World Food Supply
Production Siting
Quality and Safety
The Environment
Animal Welfare
Animal Health
Biotechnology
Genetic Resources
Animal Nutrition
Global Trade
Contents
Summary
Biotechnology

Chairs:
 
 
 
 
 
B. Brenig,
Faculty of Agriculture, Institute of Veterinary Medicine,
University of Göttingen (FRG)
H. Niemann,
Federal Agricultural Research Centre Dept. Biotechnology,
Institute for Animal Science and Behaviour (FRG)


   
  
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Final Statement

For many years biotechnological procedures such as artificial insemination and embryo transfer have been an integral part of modern animal husbandry, and they have resulted in the well-known and recognized improvements in performance in agricultural animals. But certain disadvantages could not be countered by these techniques: the relatively slow annual rate of genetic progress (1-3%), the lack of a way to separate desirable from undesirable traits by breeding, the impossibility of transferring genetic information between species.

New biotechnology and novel molecular-genetic tools already available and others under development indicate that it will be possible to overcome these limitations to breeding. Today "biotechnology in farm animals" basically includes techniques in reproductive and molecular biology intended to enhance performance, efficiency and health for sustainable animal production.

  • In the very near future the complete sequencing of the genomes of important domestic animals will make it possible to distinguish molecular phenotypes and thus improve the use of genetic resources.
  • In view of the world's limited resources and increasing population, biotechnology and novel genetic-molecular tools will provide important resources for making animal production more efficient, environmentally appropriate and economically viable.
  • Cloning and transgene technology will open new horizons both for biomedicine and for many agricultural applications, particularly in the area of product diversification.
  • The development and application of biotechnology and genetic technology in animal breeding must be accompanied by interdisciplinary research leading to more rational and factual social and ethical discourse.

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