Animal Biotechnology and Ethical Issues

Main Article Content

Sanu Mahatthanadull*
Dusanee Thanaboripat


Animal biotechnology is one of the main areas of biotechnology which concerns the application of animals, including transgenic animals, in various fields. Even though these transgenic animals can be useful for improving the welfare of humans and animals, the well-being of animals being used in the studies may be negatively affected. Ethical issues relating to experimentation on animals and the production of transgenic animals are discussed in this review, and included here is a consideration of the phenomena of ‘conditional ethical blindness’. Finding alternative protocols including the 4 Rs (reduction, refinement, replacement, and responsibility) to minimize the employment of animals in scientific procedures is one way to solve these problematic issues. These strategies can be successively utilized for certain animal biotechnological protocols and can be used to intelligently avoid unethical manipulation of animals.

Keywords: animal; animal biotechnology; transgenic animal; ethical issue; ethics

*Corresponding author: Tel.: +66814079000



Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Review Ariticle


[1] Phra Dharmakosajarn, 1998. Educating for balance: a Buddhist perspective. 19th General Conference of the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction, Bangkok, Thailand, July 14, 1998.
[2] Lopez, D.S., 2008. Buddhism & Science. A Guide for a Perplex. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
[3] Smith, J.E., 2009. Biotechnology. 5th ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[4] Singh, B., Gautam, S.K., Chauhan, M.S. and Singla, S.K., 2015. Animal Biotechnology. New Delhi: The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI).
[5] Gjerris, M., Olsson, A. and Sandøe, P., 2006. Animal biotechnology and animal welfare. In: Ethical Eye: Animal Welfare. Strasbourg: Council of Europe, pp. 89-110.
[6] American Israeli Cooperative Enterprise (AICE), 2019. Breakthrough Dividend. [online] Available at: biotech/ bdcontent.html
[7] National Academy of Sciences (NAS), 2002. Animal Biotechnology: Science Concerns. Washington D.C.: National Academy of Science.
[8] Straughan, R., 1999. Ethics, Morality and Animal Biotechnology. Swindon: The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.
[9] Willadsen, S.M., 1986. Nuclear transplantation in sheep embryos. Nature, 320, 63-65.
[10] Wilmut, I., Schnieke, A.E., McWhir, J., Kind, A.J. and Campbell, K.H., 1997. Viable offspring derived from fetal and adult mammalian cells. Nature, 385, 810-813.
[11] Smith, J.E., 2004. Biotechnology. 4th ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[12] Molnar, C. and Gair, J., 2019. 10.1 Cloning and Genetic Engineering. [online] Available at:
[13] Twine, R., 2010. Animal as Biotechnology. Ethics, Sustainability and Critical Animal Studies. New York: Earthscan.
[14] Singhal, M. and Kansara, N., 2010. Transgenic animals: production and application. International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, 1(9), 12-22.
[15] Smith, J.E., 2004. Biotechnology. 4th ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[16] Houdbine, L.M., 2009. Production of pharmaceutical proteins by transgenic animals, Comparative Immunology Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, 32, 1393-1398.
[17] Laible, G., 2018. Production of transgenic livestock: Overview of transgenic technologies. In: H. Niemann and C. Wrenzycki, eds. Animal Biotechnology 2. Emerging Breeding Technologies. Cham: Springer, pp. 95-121.
[18] Weitzman, J. and Weitzman, M., 2017. 30-Second Genetics. London: Ivy Press
[19] Ormandy, E.H., Dale, J. and Griffin, G., 2011. Genetic engineering of animals: Ethical issues, including welfare concerns. Canadian Veterinary Journal, 52(5), 544-550.
[20] Wall, R.J. and Seidel, G.E., 1992. Transgenic farm animals, a critical analysis. Theriogenology, 38(2), 337-357.
[21] Houdebine, L.‐M., 2005. Use of transgenic animals to improve human health and animal production. Reproduction in Domestic Animals, 40(4), 269-281.
[22] Rogers, C.S., Abraham, W.M., Brogden, K.A., Engelhardt, J.F., Fisher, J.T., McCray, P.B., McLennan, G., Meyerholz, D.K., Namati, E., Ostedgaard, L.S., Prather, R.S., Sabater, J.R., Stoltz, D.A., Zabner, J. and Welsh, M.J., 2008. The porcine lung as a potential model for cystic fibrosis. American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 295, L240-L263.
[23] Aigner, B.S., Renner, S., Kessler, B., Klymiuk, N., Kurome, M. and Wünsch, A., 2010. Transgenic pigs as models for translational biomedical research. Journal of Molecular Medicine, 88(7), 653-664.
[24] Roths, J.B., Foxworth, W.B., McArthur, M.J., Montgomery, C.A. and Kier, A.B., 1999. Spontaneous and engineered mutant mice as models for experimental and comparative pathology: History, comparison, and developmental technology. Laboratory Animal Science, 49, 2-34.
[25] Pai, V.J., Wang, B., Li, X., Wu, L. and Kang, J.X., 2018. Transgenic mice convert carbohydrates to essential fatty acids. In: Sarah Lombard, ed. Animal Biotechnology. New York: Callisto Reference, pp. 1-6.
[26] Clark, A.J., Ali, S., Archibald, A.L., Bessos, H., Brown, P., Harris, S., McClenaghan, M., Prowse, C., Simons, J.P. and Whitelaw, C.B., 1989. The molecular manipulation of milk composition. Genome, 31, 950-955.
[27] Clark, D.P. and Pazdernik, N.J., 2016. Transgenic animals. In: Biotechnology, 2nd ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier, pp. 493-521.
[28] Offord, C., 2017. Meet the Transgenic Silkworms That Are Spinning Out Spider Silk. [online] Available at:
[29] Mercado, N.B., Zahn, R., Wegmann, F., Loos, C., Chandrashekar, A., Yu, J., Liu, J., Peter, L., McMahan, K., Tostanoski, L.H., He, X., Martinez, D.R., Rutten, L., Bos, R., van
Manen, D., Vellinga, J., Custers, J., Langedijk, J.P., Kwaks, T., Bakkers, M.J.G., Zuijdgeest, D., Huber, S.K.R., Atyeo, C., Fischinger, S., Burke, J.S., Feldman, J., Hauser, B.M., Caradonna, T.M., Bondzie, E.A., Dagotto, G., Gebre, M.S., Hoffman, E., Jacob-Dolan, C., Kirilova, M., Li, Z., Lin, Z., Mahrokhian, S.H., Maxfield, L.F., Nampanya, F., Nityanandam, R., Nkolola, J.P., Patel, S., Ventura, J.D., Verrington, K., Wan, H., Pessaint, L., Ry, A.V., Blade, K., Strasbaugh, A., Cabus, M., Brown, R., Cook, A., Zouantchangadou, S., Teow, E., Anderson, H., Lewis, M.G., Cai, Y., Vhen, B., Schmidt, A.G., Reeves, R.K., Baric, R.S., Lauffenburger, D.A., Alter, G., Stoffels, P., Mammen, M., Hoof, J.V., Schuitemaker, H. and Barouch, D.H., 2020. Single-shot Ad26 vaccine protects against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques. Nature (2020),
[30] Cohen, J., 2020. COVID-19 Vaccine Protects Monkeys from New Coronavirus, Chinese Biotech Reports. [online] Available at:
[31] Phelps, N., 2004. The Great Compassion. Buddhism and Animal Rights. New York: Lantern Books.
[32] Doke, S.K. and Dhawale, S.C., 2015. Alternatives to animal testing: A review. Saudi
Pharmaceutical Journal, 23, 223-229.
[33] European Animal Research Association, 2020. Covid-19 Research Using Monkeys. [online] Available at:
[34] Rachels, J., 2003. The Elements of Moral Philosophy. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
[35] Camera, D., Dimitrova, Ir., Doynova, M., Jachacz, L., Kachakova, D., Kepka, M., Ould Isselmou, C.B., Vornier, J.P. and Yungarva., Tsv., 2008. Transgenic and Cloned Animals: Ethical Problem? Perugia: EU Socrates Erasmus European Community.
[36] Kunjara, P., 2015. Animals for scientific purposes act 2015 (2558 B.E.). Proceedings of the 14th Chulalongkorn University Veterinary Conference CUVC: Responsible for Lives. Bangkok, Thailand, April 20-22, 2015, 75.
[37] Singer, P., 2002. Animal Liberation. The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.
[38] Surasith, N., 2016. Tipitaka Studies. Translated by Veerakarn Kanokkamalade. Ayutthaya: Mahachulaongkornrajavidayalaya Press.
[39] Brunk, C.G., Hartley, S., 2013. Designer Animals. Mapping the Issues in Animal Biotechnology. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
[40] Ubeysekara, A., 2019. The Concept of Kamma in Theravada Buddhism. [online] Available at:
[41] Taniguchi, S., 2019. Biomedical Ethics. From a Buddhist Perspective. [online] Available at:
[42] Ohnuma, R., 2017. Unfortunate Destiny. Animals in the Indian Buddhist Imagination. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[43] Mahatthanadull, S., 2015. Buddhist response to environmental degradation under conceptual framework of the Five Niyāma. Proceedings of the 1st MCU International Academic
Conference (MIAC) on Buddhism and World Crisis, Graduate School, MCU, Thailand, May
29, 2015, 65-78.
[44] Van Eenennaam, A.L., 2006. What is the future of animal biotechnology? California
Agriculture, 60(3), 132-139.
[45] Payutto, P.A., 2017. Buddhadhamma. The Laws of Nature and Their Benefits to Life. 2nd ed. Translated by R. P. Moore. Bangkok: Buddhadhamma Foundation.
[46] Mahatthanadull, S. and Mahatthanadull, S., 2018. The five precepts: Criteria and the promotion of individual and social peace JIABU, 11(3), 180-193.
[47] Cambell, N.A., 1996. Biology. 4th ed. Menlo Park: The Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Company, Inc.
[48] Mahatthanadull, S. and Mahatthanadull, S., 2015. Research Report on the Five Precepts: Criteria and the Promotion of Individual and Social Peace. International Buddhist Studies College: Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University.
[49] Rollin, B., 1996. The Frankenstein Syndrome: Ethical and Social Issues in the Genetic Engineering of Animals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
[50] Doke, S.K. and Dhawale, S.C., 2015. Alternatives to animal testing: a review. Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal, 23(3), 223-229.
[51] Ranganatha, N. and Kuppast, I.J., 2012. A review on alternatives to animal testing methods in drug development. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 4, 28-32.
[52] Mushtaq, S., Das, Y.K. and Aksoy, A., 2018. Alternative methods to animal experiments. Turkiye Klinikleri Journal of Medical Sciences, 38(2), 161-170.
[53] Balls, M., 1994. Replacement of animal procedures: Alternatives in research, education and testing. Laboratory Animals, 28(3), 193-211.
[54] Xu, K.-P., Li, X.-F. and Yu, F.-S.X., 2000. Corneal organ culture model for assessing epithelial responses to surfactants. Toxicological Science, 58(2), 306-314.
[55] Arora, T., Mehta, A.K., Joshi, V., Mehta, K.D., Rathor, N., Mediratta, P.K. and Sharma, K.K., 2011. Substitute of animals in drug research: An approach towards fulfilment of 4R’s”. Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 73(1), 1-6.
[56] Taylor, K., 2019. Recent Developments in Alternatives to Animal Testing. [online] Available at: