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RSPCA Policy D6 Genetic manipulation and xenotransplantation

6.1RSPCA Australia is opposed to the genetic manipulation of animals where this causes pain, injury, suffering or distress. This includes both the genetically modified animals themselves and the animals used in their production.
6.2Where the use of genetic manipulation of animals offers the opportunity to improve animal welfare, RSPCA Australia advocates that the costs and benefits of the procedures involved in all steps in the development and breeding processes must be taken into consideration. This includes impacts on all animals directly involved in those processes and on any future progeny of those animals.
6.3All genetic manipulation of animals must be conducted in accordance with the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes, whether the purpose of the procedure is scientific or not.
6.4RSPCA Australia is opposed to the patenting of animals whose welfare is compromised.

RSPCA Australia is opposed to the use of animals for xenotransplantation. However, where xenotransplantation occurs, mandatory welfare standards must be monitored and enforced to ensure a good quality of life. RSPCA Australia advocates for the development of non-animal alternatives.


‘Genetic manipulation’ involves changing an animal’s DNA and includes cloning, gene transfer, modification and editing.

‘Xenotransplantation’ is any procedure that involves the transplantation, implantation or infusion of live cells, tissues or organs from another species, including animal to human.

(adopted 5/12/2020)

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Updated on December 8, 2020

RSPCA policies reflect the best available evidence to direct and guide RSPCA and others, to promote and achieve good animal welfare outcomes.

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