Clause 11 - Application for precision bred animal marketing authorisation

Part of Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:00 pm on 5th July 2022.

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Photo of Katherine Fletcher Katherine Fletcher Conservative, South Ribble 3:00 pm, 5th July 2022

I am listening hard to the hon. Lady’s speech and I wholeheartedly agree with her about some of the welfare issues she has described. Does she agree, however, that the Bill offers the opportunity to solve some of the problems that she has identified? The problem with natural breeding is that we effectively chuck everything up in the air, and then it comes back together with one part from the mum and one from the dad. That means that when we select for improved production, we cannot also make sure that we are selecting for health and fitness. We are stuck with the selection—for example, we may select for a dog whose face gets smaller and smaller. I understand what the hon. Lady is saying about making sure that we do not use gene editing just to target individual production methods, but does she share my excitement that the Bill offers the opportunity to fix some of the inherent deficits that traditional breeding has imposed on animals—animals that I know many farmers work with every day, and love?