Farm Animals - Introductory Text

Breeding and biotechnology in farm animals - ethical issues

By C. Gamborg & P. Sandøe
Key issues in bioethics. A guide for teachers. Routledge Falmer. 2003


Over the last century, and especially since the Second World War, animal production has become ever more efficient. Broiler chickens can grow to a weight of 2 kg in about five weeks, while 40 years ago it took twelve weeks to reach the same weight, and over the same period milk yields in most dairy cows have more than doubled. These achievements derive in part from improved management techniques, but to a large and still increasing extent they are the outcome of farm animal breeding, i.e. genetic improvement.

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