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Stockmanship

42. The ability of stockpeople to meet the particular needs of animals produced by cloning is an important issue. These needs may be associated simply with the greater performance achieved by the animals, and the special care associated with such high performance. Alternatively, abnormalities may be generated through cloning which go unrecognised initially yet may be stressful for the animals. As in all livestock husbandry situations, a good stockperson will know how to attend to the needs of his animals and will be able to recognise potential welfare problems at an early stage and be aware of ways in which they may be overcome. The employment of suitable numbers of appropriately trained and experienced staff is of paramount importance to meet any special needs of animals which may be produced through cloning.

43. The possibility of rapid genetic selection (perhaps in association with manipulation through gene targeting) for desirable traits such as resistance to disease, and the rapid and widespread duplication of the best bloodlines nationally and internationally, offers particular advantages for developing countries. For example, it may be possible to develop strains of breeds which are more productive than the native animals and which carry the genes for resistance to the indigenous diseases in those countries. It will be essential that appropriate special training accompanies the introduction of such strains to ensure good standards of stockmanship are maintained for such animals which make different and possibly greater demands on the skills of those caring for them.

Recommendation:

44. Stockpeople responsible for the care of animals which are produced by cloning must be sufficiently trained and competent to attend to any particular requirements of such animals.